Moscow urged Washington on Sunday “not to repeat past mistakes” when dealing with the alleged use of chemical weapons by embattled President Bashar Assad’s government.
Doctors Without Borders and Syrian opposition say that more than 300 people died after the alleged toxic gas attack in an eastern Damascus suburb on Wednesday. Syrian authorities fiercely denied the claim.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that President Barack Obama has told him to “prepare options for all contingencies” while the White House is deciding whether to use military force against Bashar’s government, the Associated Press reported.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the alleged chemical attack could have been a staged “provocation” by the Syrian opposition and that the US might use it as a pretext to start a military operation in Syria.
“All of this makes one recall the events that happened 10 years ago, when, using false information about Iraqis having weapons of mass destructions, the U.S. bypassed the United Nations and started a scheme whose consequences are well known to everyone,” the ministry said in a web-posted statement.
It said that the “current fuss” about the attack is aimed at disrupting the work of UN experts on chemical weapons.
Syria and the UN agreed on Sunday to allow a team of international experts to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack, AP said.
“Once again we call not to repeat past mistakes, not to allow actions that contradict international law,” the Ministry’s statement said.
Russia has been Syria’s most important ally during the civil that has claimed at least 100,000 lives since March 2011, according to the UN. Moscow along with Beijing vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions against Assad’s government.