Putin: Armed Groups in Syria Used Chemical Weapon to Provoke American Intervention

NEW YORK – Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the armed terrorist groups in Syria are the party which used chemical weapons not the Syrian Arab army.

In an article, published in the Wednesday issue of "The New York Times", Putin said: "There is every reason to believe that poison gas was used not by the Syrian Army, but by armed groups, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists."

Putin warned that any US military intervention in Syria would unleash a new wave of terrorism and could destabilize the region and damage "an entire system of international law."

"A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism," Putin said, arguing that it could also undermine talks on Iran's nuclear program, and efforts to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The Russian President also warned of the repercussions of launching military operations in circumvention of the UN Security Council, pointing out that the United Nations may collapse  if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

Putin alarmed that along with mercenaries from Arab countries, people from Western countries and Russia are also fighting in Syria.

"Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia are an issue of our deep concern," Putin said.

"Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali," Putin added.

"This threatens us all," Putin said. He pointed out that the US State Department has designated the so-called al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the armed opposition, as terrorist organizations.

"This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world," Putin said.

H. Mustafa