Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to reporters in Moscow today about the United States' potential counter-strike against Syria in the wake of allegations of chemical weapons use on a Syrian suburb.
Bloomberg has Lavrov using the words "slippery slope" to describe American desires to retaliate against Syria, and that any military intervention that takes place outside the UN Security Council would be a "gross violation of international law... Western leaders are making statements that indicate that they won’t wait for the results of this commission, they have already decided everything... It’s a very dangerous slippery slope that our Western partners have gone on before. I hope common sense prevails."
Russia's Foreign Ministry warned that the chemical attack could have been staged by Syrian opposition groups as a pretext for a preemptive American strike against the Assad regime.
Syrian opposition groups remain steadfast in their claims that 1300 victims were killed by nerve agents on Aug. 21 in a chemical attack on the suburb of Ghouta in Damascus. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian paper Izvestia that such allegations are "nonsense... First they make an accusation and only then search for evidence."
The UK's foreign secretary, William Hague, has said that Britain remains convinced that Assad is responsible for the attack, and that agreement on the parts of the United States and France were needed to take action. Turkey's foreign minister has said that they intend to start a coalition against Syria if the UN takes no actions.
A Forbes story recalls Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel saying that President Obama will "prepare options for all contingencies." Unfortunately, this kind of post-911 posturing is the same behavior that frustrated the world with former President George W. Bush, and Russian lawmakers are calling President Obama a cloned copy of the younger Bush, particularly with regard to his drive for war:
[Image via an ABC News video on Youtube about the subject]
“Obama is restlessly heading towards war in #Syria as Bush was heading towards war in Iraq,” says Russian MP Alexei Pushkov.
— Michael Forian (@Forian) August 26, 2013