Putin–Claims of chemical weapons use by Syria ‘utter nonsense’
"Syrian government troops are on the offensive and have surrounded the opposition in several regions. In these conditions, to give a trump card to those who are calling for a military intervention is utter nonsense,” Putin told the journalists in the eastern city of Vladivostok on Saturday.
He also called on the United States to show proof that Damascus was behind the attack.
"Regarding the position of our American colleagues, who affirm that government troops used ... chemical weapons, and say that they have proof; well, let them show it to the United Nations inspectors and the Security Council," Putin added.
The Russian president added that if Washington fails to show the proof, “that means there is none."
The remarks came after US President Barack Obama said on Friday that he is considering military action against Syria based on intelligence reports.
Putin also told the journalists that President Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, should think of the potential victims of a military attack against Syria.
The war rhetoric against Syria primarily intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.
A number of Western countries, including the United States, France, and the UK, were quick to engage in a major publicity campaign to promote war against Syria despite the fact that Damascus categorically rejected the claim that it has been behind the attack.
Putin also expressed surprise at a vote in the British parliament on Thursday that rejected London’s role in a potential war on Syria.
“This was completely unexpected for me,” Putin said, noting, "This shows that in Great Britain, even if it is the USA's main geopolitical ally in the world ... there are people who are guided by national interests and common sense, and value their sovereignty."
The Russian President pointed out that the upcoming G20 summit, which will be held next week in Russia’s Saint Petersburg, could be a platform to discuss the crisis in Syria.