UN experts should return to Syria to continue chemical attack probe - Lavrov

The elaboration of a plan for placing Syrian chemical weapons under international control does not make the verification of every report on the use of chemical weapons and the return of UN experts to Syria unnecessary, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"This work does not make the verification of all reports on the use of chemical weapons in Syria unnecessary," he said after negotiations with Libyan counterpart Muhammad Abdelaziz,according to Voice of Russia.

"UN experts should return to Syria and fully implement their mandate before presenting a report to the UN Security Council, which would consider the whole body of evidence, including testimonies of numerous experts, public organizations, religious leaders and others," Lavrov said.


US Senate Republican leader McConnell to vote against Syria force resolution

US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he would vote against the current resolution authorizing US military force in Syria, in a blow to President Barack Obama's hopes of passing the measure,according to  Voice of Russia, Reuters

"A vital national security risk is clearly not at play," in Syria, McConnell said in a statement that made him the only one of the top four US congressional leaders to oppose the resolution.

He said there were "too many unanswered questions" about US strategy in Syria, and the proposed strike may be a "mere demonstration," while a Russian proposal to secure the weapons was worth exploring.

Meanwhile the speaker of the US House of Representatives said on Tuesday that the American people are not supportive of President Barack Obama's position on Syria .

"The American people have not been supportive. They have not made the sale to the American people. That's why I think tonight is so important," John Boehner told a news conference, referring to Obama's planned speech to the U.S. nation on Tuesday night on Syria.


Russia Proves Photos and Videos of Syria's Alleged Chemical Attack were Fake

MOSCOW- Convincing evidence was demonstrated to the UN Human Right Council at its 24th session in Geneva, proving that photos and videos of victims of Damascus chemical attack on August 21st were fake, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, according to the Voice of Russia.

"A press briefing was held at the 24th session of the UN Security Council's Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 9 which dealt with human rights and armed conflicts, the US threat to use force against Syria and international law. International experts, Syrian public and religious leaders, and Rossiya 24 correspondent Anastasia Popova who has worked in Syria for a long time, presented their reports," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday.

"Convincing evidence was demonstrated proving that videos and photos showing victims of the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21 were fake. Evidence was provided by numerous witnesses, who said unanimously that chemical weapons were used in Western Ghouta by the militants. Reports on the inquiries carried out by activists, and eyewitnesses' accounts were handed over to the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

All speakers confirmed that a military scenario targeting Syria, bypassing the UN Security Council, would be a crude violation of international law.

"They also said that the international community does not support the United States' plan to deliver a strike against Syria, which can be inferred from the results of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Special emphasis was laid on the fact that external interference would lead to fatalities and a humanitarian catastrophe for Syria and for the region as a whole, and play into the hands of the extremists. The speakers said that the American leadership must bear responsibility for the illegal threats to use force against Syria and urged the UN to prevent the strike," it said.

H. Mustafa

The chemical attack on August 21 allegedly was orchestrated - Lavrov

"The chemical attack on August 21 allegedly was orchestrated," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during the meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem, according to Voice of Russia.

UN team should return to Syria to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons - Lavrov

The UN team should finalize the investigation into the cases of use of chemical weapon in Syria, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the meeting. The Russian minister stressed "it is necessary to investigate most thoroughly all the reports on use of chemical weapon."

"We consider as important and timely the statement made by the UN Secretary General that the experts, who investigated the cases of chemical weapon’s use in Syria, should return to that country and finalize their work in compliance with the earlier agreements," Lavrov said.

"The UN Secretary General has assured us he will return the team soon," Lavrov added.


Russia, Iran to coordinate Syria stand

Russia is going to coordinate its stance on Syria with Iran in order to avoid the conflict from getting out of hand, a senior Russian foreign official has confirmed,according toi Voice of Russia.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov today assured his Iranian counterpart that Russia was intent on stopping the situation from escalating to catastrophic proportions.

He also stressed that today’s meeting between with Hossein Amir-Abdullahian would be an opportunity to discuss the crisis in Syria and exchange opinions.

Iranian, Russian foreign chiefs may meet at SCO summit in Sept

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday that Russian and Iranian foreign chiefs might have a talk at the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.

Mr. Bogdanov said presidents of the region’s two major powers were to meet at the SCO summit in September. “Mr. Lavrov is going to Bishkek. I guess your [foreign] minister will come along too,” he added.


Americans still largely against Syria strikes - poll

US opinion remains strongly against military strikes on Syria, according to a poll released Monday.

According to Voice of Russia, the CNN poll found 59 per cent of those surveyed oppose military action, while 39 per cent are in favour of it.

If Congress were to ultimately vote against strikes, then the numbers are even more stark: 71 per cent of Americans said they would then oppose a strike, and only 27 per cent would approve.

The poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday, and included 1,022 respondents.

Obama can't act against Syria without Congressional approval - Senator Ted Cruz

US Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Sunday he doesn't think President Barack Obama has the authority to order a military strike on Syria without Congressional approval.

Congress is debating whether to approve Obama's measure to take military action against the Syrian government.

Should Congress not approve the measure, Cruz, in an appearance on ABC's "This Week," said Obama shouldn't be able to move forward with the strike.

"It would be contrary to the Constitution," he said.

An unofficial tally by ABC News suggest that a resolution to strike Syria would fail in the House of Representatives and a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans opposed a unilateral US strike on Syria.

Cruz has been a critic of the President’s push for military action against Syria, saying on “This Week” Sunday that “I think a military attack is a mistake.” 


Any military attack on Syria will be considered as aggression against a sovereign state - Nikolai Patrushev

A sanction given by the US Congress and Senate to a military strike on a different country will not be legal, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said,according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.

"The Senate and the US cannot authorize a strike on a different country because there is no aggression against the U.S. If military action is planned against a different country, authorization is given by the Un Security Council," Patrushev told reporters after the meeting of the Russian Security Council on Monday.

"If a strike is delivered, we can say that it's aggression against a different state," he said.

At the same time, Patrushev pointed out that Russia insists that the situation in Syria should be resolved using political and diplomatic methods.

"I think our position will be heard eventually," he said.


Hundreds Protest in Washington Against US Strike on Syria

WASHINGTON- Hundreds of Americans, including many with Syrian and Middle Eastern roots, have marched from the White House to Capitol Hill to protest US President Barack Obama’s push for a military strike on Syria.

 “We are here to say ‘no war’ because war is destruction, war is more blood and we are tired of war,” Amal Esmail, who moved to the United States seven years ago from Syria and recently became a US citizen, told RIA Novosti just before she addressed the protesters outside the White House.

Esmail and around 500 other protesters, some of whom had traveled to Washington from other parts of the East Coast, set off for the US Capitol just hours after Obama used his weekly address to the American people .

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday at the end of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg that he remains opposed to military intervention in the crisis without the support of the UN Security Council, and he repeated his belief that the apparent chemical weapons attacks in Syria were planned provocations.

The large Syrian flag that Salam Sunna carried as she marched through Washington fluttered gently in the almost windless air on the hot, late summer’s day.

Sunna, who is from Jordan expressed skepticism at the US government’s justification for launching an attack on Syria.

 “I think it’s all fabricated,” said Sunna, whose first name means “peace.”

 “As the march neared the Capitol, 8-year-old Eden Foley stopped for a drink of water. Foley was on her third march to protest proposed military action against Syria, but she had never walked two miles (3.2 kilometers) before, she told RIA Novosti.

Several smaller protests have been staged in cities around the United States and on Capitol Hill since Obama announced last week that the United States would take military action against Syria.

But Saturday’s march in Washington and a dozen other US cities – from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Youngstown, Ohio – brought out larger numbers of demonstrators than previous protests. In Washington, the protesters chanted slogans against endless war and carried yellow signs urging Congress to vote against military strikes on Syria when it reconvenes next week.

Obama acknowledged in his weekly address that Americans are “weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down,” and he repeated a pledge that there would be no US boots on the ground in Syria.