Russia warned the West on Tuesday against unilateral action on Syria after US President Barack Obama threatened “enormous consequences” if his Syrian counterpart used chemical or biological arms or even moved them in a menacing way.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking after meeting China’s top diplomat, said Moscow and Beijing were committed to “the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law... and not to allow violation”.
Syrian deputy prime minister Qadri Jamil, also speaking in Moscow, dismissed Obama’s threat as media fodder. “Direct military intervention in Syria is impossible because whoever thinks about it... is heading towards a confrontation wider than Syria’s borders,” he said.
Jamil said the West was seeking an excuse to intervene, likening the focus on Syria’s chemical weapons with the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq by US-led forces on what proved to be gro-undless suspicions that Saddam Hussein was concealing weapons of mass destruction.
Russia and China have oppo-sed military intervention in Syria throughout a 17-month-old revolt against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.