Russia ' s chief of staff has condemned a US decision to attack Syria as “illegitimate”, calling for international efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in the Arab country.
Sergei Ivanov made the remarks on the sidelines of a G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg on Thursday, saying most of the leaders attending the summit have expressed their desire for a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.
" Obviously, the majorit y[of the leaders] are in favor of a solution for Syria by peaceful means, ” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
Ivanov went on to say that there is no firm evidence that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and it is not logical for President Bashar al-Assad to carry out such an attack. US President Barack Obama is trying to convince the Congress to approve a military strike against Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. Washington says it has obtained evidence proving the Syrian army was behind the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21, which killed hundreds of Syrians. The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the deadly attack was carried out by militants operating inside the country in a bid to draw in a foreign military intervention. Obama has delayed military action pending Congressional approval at a vote scheduled for September 9. On Monday, Russia dismissed as “absolutely unconvincing” the evidence presented by the US accusing the Syrian government of the gas attack. “When you ask for more detailed proof, they say all of this is classified so we cannot show this to you,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled the country’s 29-month-long conflict, reached two million. “Syria is hemorrhaging women, children and men who cross borders often with little more than the clothes on their backs,” the UNHCR said. The UN refugee agency also said some 4.2 million people have also been displaced inside Syria since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country.