The United States’ plans to conduct strikes on Syrian territory conflict with agreements between Moscow and Washington on the convocation of an international peace conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
“From all indications,” the United States is devising plans to attack the positions of Syrian government forces, which contravenes the idea of holding an international peace conference “without any preconditions,” he said.
On Monday, US lawmakers released an assessment by Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating that Washington could carry out a range of missions to back Syrian rebels in their fight against President Assad’s forces.
Moscow hopes to discuss the issue of chemical weapons at an international peace conference for Syria, Lavrov said, adding that Moscow was for a comprehensive investigation of all such instances.
He recalled that Russia had made its contribution to such an investigation, recently submitting to the United Nations a comprehensive study of soil samples taken from the site of a reported chemical attack by Syrian opposition forces outside the northern city of Aleppo in March. The study determined that the nerve agent sarin was used and that it was not “industrially manufactured.”
Earlier reports by foreign experts claimed that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on several occasions during the two-year conflict, which prompted the US and the EU to lift sanctions on weapons sales to the Syrian rebels. The White House said last month that it would provide direct military aid to the rebels.
According to UN data, nearly 100,000 people have been killed in the Syria conflict.