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Russia doubts U.S. proof of Syria poison gas use

By Albert Aji & Nataliya Vasilyeva

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:26 a.m. HST, Sep 03, 2013


DAMASCUS, Syria » Evidence of alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime presented to Moscow by the U.S. and its allies is "absolutely unconvincing," Russia's foreign minister said, as the Obama administration lobbied Congress to support a punitive military strike against Syria.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said "there was nothing specific there, no geographic coordinates, no names, no proof that the tests were carried out by the professionals." He did not describe the tests further.

President Barack Obama initially seemed poised to launch military action without asking Congress, but over the weekend changed his mind, a decision that delays any strike until after Congress returns from summer recess next week.

At issue in the escalating diplomatic confrontation between the U.S. and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad are alleged chemical weapons attacks on rebel-held areas in western and eastern suburbs of the Syrian capital of Damascus on Aug. 21.

The U.S. said it has proof that the Assad regime is behind attacks that Washington claims killed at least 1,429 people, including more than 400 children. Syrian officials have denied the allegations, blaming rebel fighters.

Lavrov brushed aside Western evidence of an alleged Syrian regime role. Russia, along with China and Iran, has staunchly backed Assad throughout the conflict.

"What our American, British and French partners showed us in the past and have showed just recently is absolutely unconvincing," Lavrov said at Russia's top diplomatic school. "And when you ask for more detailed proof they say all of this is classified so we cannot show this to you."

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. received new physical evidence in the form of blood and hair samples that show sarin gas was used in the Aug. 21 attack. It was not immediately clear whether that evidence had been shared with Russia.

U.N. chemical inspectors toured the stricken areas last week, collecting biological and soil samples, but it is not clear when the will present their findings.

Kerry said the case for an eventual military strike against Syria is getting stronger and that U.S. credibility is on the line.

However, the Obama administration so far failed to bring together a broad international coalition in support of military action, having so far only secured the support of France.

Britain's parliament narrowly voted against British participation in a military strike last week, despite appeals by Prime Minister David Cameron, and the Arab League has stopped short of endorsing a Western strike against Syria.

In an emergency meeting on Sunday, the 22-state League called on the United Nations and the international community to take "deterrent" measures under international law to stop the Syrian regime's crimes, but could not agree on whether to back U.S. military strikes.

Russia or China would likely veto any U.N. Security Council resolution sanctioning a Western strike against Syria.

China is "highly concerned" about possible unilateral military action against Syria and believes the international community must "avoid complicating the Syrian issue and dragging the Middle East down into further disaster," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said today.

In Washington, the Obama administration was lobbying to secure domestic support.

Obama was to meet today with former political rival Sen. John McCain at the White House, hoping the foreign policy hawk will help sell the idea of U.S. military intervention.

On Capitol Hill, senior administration officials briefed lawmakers in private on Sunday to explain why the U.S. was compelled to act against Assad. Further meetings were planned from today to Wednesday.

The Syria conflict erupted in March 2011 as an uprising against Assad that quickly transformed into a civil war. More than 100,000 Syrians have been killed in the conflict.

In Damascus, the Syria representative of the U.N. refugee agency, Tarik Kurdi, said that five million Syrians have been displaced inside the country by the war.

In addition, nearly 2 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, according to previous U.N. figures, bringing the total number of uprooted Syrians to about 7 million, or nearly one-third the country's estimated population of 23 million.

Kurdi said the need for aid is far greater than what the international community has provided so far.

"Whatever efforts we have exerted and whatever the U.N. has provided in humanitarian aid, it is only a drop in the sea of humanitarian needs in Syria," he told The Associated Press. The funding gap "is very, very wide," he added.

Vasilyeva reported from Moscow.






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1local wrote:
let the UN take care of it. the USA is bankrupt and has issues to take care of - homosexuality and obama care - the only thing that keeps many going on is the non-enforcement of drug usage...
on September 2,2013 | 06:36AM
HD36 wrote:
It will cost over $1 billion a day.
on September 2,2013 | 12:05PM
Grimbold wrote:
Not only are we almost bankrupt: We have no business and no advantage to attack them. The opposite is true the Arab world will only hate us more. And we are helping Al-Kaida! And there is little proof who done any poison attack.
on September 2,2013 | 05:46PM
allie wrote:
Russia is right to question any so-called intelligence from the USA. Israel is calling the shots here. No way we can trust Obama to get anything right.
on September 2,2013 | 07:46AM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
It's Arab killing Arab Allie. No way Israel can make that happen.
on September 2,2013 | 09:32AM
Agility wrote:
It's Al Qaeda. Anti Jewish logic will not get you anywhere. Where did it get the Nazi Catholic Church conspiracy in WWII? Russia hating the Jews and supporting Arab Czars is illogical under Marx philosophy. China owns American and doesn't want another war they are into targeted assignations
on September 2,2013 | 10:40AM
allie wrote:
It is about the government in Israel which has hurt America so much. Not about Jews hon. Get an education and stop being manipulated.
on September 2,2013 | 11:40AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
All-Lies = former subscriber to "The Spotlight" from the late 90's? Reputation for un-truth certainly parallels their reputation.
on September 3,2013 | 03:30AM
localguy wrote:
Agility - Really? China owns America? Wrong answer. Yes they have bought a lot of our bonds and some companies. As we work with theirs. With this relationship both sides would be damaged if they took action against the other. Compared to the West, China is a babe in the woods in so many areas. Their 'Virgin" military has no combat experience, haven't fought a battle in decades. Their financial system is propped up by their dysfunctional government, it could collapse. Remember in the news, many Chinese come to the USA to have their baby, guarantying them a way out later on. How many Americans are going to China for the same?
on September 2,2013 | 01:30PM
Grimbold wrote:
Israel wants to get rid of Assad because he is allied with Iran and Hezbollah-Lebanon. Israel evicted the Arabs from their homes and we are supporting them? Foul Play.
on September 2,2013 | 05:48PM
inverse wrote:
Allie is right. Israel is always trying to get the US to kill or attack Israeli Muslim enemies, in order to draw the US into the Israeli -Jew / Muslim conflict and deflect hate/attacks from Israel to the US and Americans.
on September 2,2013 | 11:56AM
HD36 wrote:
The Rothchild family set up the system of Central Banks in Europe and set up the state of Israel. They own the Federal Reserve. We owe the Federal Reserve over $3 trillion. World War III is the only way we can pay them back using war reparations like the Treaty of Versailles after WWI. Assuming we win.
on September 2,2013 | 12:14PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Iluminati and the Free Masons still hold reign to the world's money system.
on September 2,2013 | 06:39PM
HD36 wrote:
Things are changing fast. The oligarchs from the East are controlling Interpol. Witness the resigning of CEO Joseph Ackerman from Deutshe Bank due to undelivered collateral of gold from derivitives.
on September 2,2013 | 09:40PM
localguy wrote:
Inverse - Not even close. Israel has the most powerful military in the region, everyone knows it. Many had their forces stopped by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) decades ago. They don't need our help to take care of their enemies. Truth is they do not want to fight them, would prefer peace. Exactly why after the war with Egypt they gave back the Sinai, have been at peace with them ever since. It's the other countries who just can't maintain a functioning government, maintain peace and prosperity. They are living in the past, still holding on to hundreds to thousands of year old blood feuds. They need to join the real world.
on September 2,2013 | 01:37PM
inverse wrote:
The ONLY reason why Israel has such a strong military force is because the US continuously provides the latest US military technology such as missiles, fighter jets, anti missile missile batteries (ie Patriot,etc.), etc to Israel basically for FREE but cost US taxpayers BILLIONS over the years. If the US STOPPED giving military equipment and technology to Israel, Israel would easily be defeated by its Muslim enemies. It might be admirable the spirit and dedication of Israel military forces however you cannot deny the truth that without continuous US military and financial aid to Israel, Israel would NOT survive the epic battle against Muslims vs Jews
on September 2,2013 | 07:09PM
HD36 wrote:
True statement and they also have over 200 nuclear missles that are off limits to international inspections.
on September 2,2013 | 09:42PM
stingray65 wrote:
allie, that is the whole idea I did not vote for him!! He was not even qualified for a member of a Boys Scout of America!!
on September 2,2013 | 10:22AM
jayz43 wrote:
Agreed. He is an embarrassment. Voters are finally realizing what a terrible mistake it was to elect him. I hope that common sense prevails with our Congress. NOTHING good can come out of attacking Syria, but a lot of bad can happen aka unintended consequences. I reflect to the reason the U.S. used for involvement in Vietnam. Lies. Here is a link to some excellent info on Syria's past history. Numbers 12 and 13 really piqued my interest: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/09/your-labor-day-syria-reader-part-2-william-polk/279255/
on September 2,2013 | 10:11PM
ya_think wrote:
Don't know what you'r smoking but you should stop. You do realize that the group that will take over Syria hates the jews even more than the existing government? So why in the world would Israel want Assad out.........
on September 2,2013 | 11:27AM
allie wrote:
go online and read the israeli press hon. Just because you live way out here is no excuse for being endlessly ignorant.
on September 2,2013 | 11:41AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Provide a link about this baloney of yours "read the israeli press" - hon.
on September 2,2013 | 01:14PM
allie wrote:
or read nation magazine..geesh
on September 2,2013 | 02:46PM
Kuniarr wrote:
So what's this baloney - "go online and read the israeli press hon'? If you have nothing to say, don't say it.
on September 2,2013 | 09:44PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
All-Lies NEVER has anything to say. He always refers to non-existent "friends" and "sources" and when you go an check out his "sources" you find that they are being mis-represented. Oh and despite his pretense All-Lies is a 30 something year old guy.
on September 3,2013 | 03:46AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
All-Lies if you have "facts" pertinent to your and a number of other conspiracy dolts position, why not provide links to your "sources"? All-Lies...it is you that "live way out there" thus your reputation for falsehood and for chronically stating "I always tell the truth..." and repeatedly mis-representing fact. Truth is a clearly a concept beyond your comprehension.
on September 3,2013 | 03:42AM
aomohoa wrote:
Israel has nothing to do with this. You sure hate the Israels don't you?? No surprise, you hate the Hawaiians too.
on September 2,2013 | 06:35PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Hmmm All-Lies your doltish anti-jew rant reeks of a certain Liberty Lobby/Spotlight magazine from the late 90's who had a similar reputation as you for "truth".
on September 3,2013 | 03:28AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I find the Russians more believable than Barry, former member of the choom club.
on September 2,2013 | 08:04AM
allie wrote:
as do we all
on September 2,2013 | 11:41AM
localguy wrote:
Really? Why are they still living in the past, falling behind other countries? Very poor leadership in Russia.
on September 2,2013 | 01:38PM
HD36 wrote:
Didn't the US use a chemical weapon in the Veitnam War called Agent Orange?
on September 2,2013 | 12:23PM
localguy wrote:
HD36 - How little you know. Must be a product of Nei schools. Truth is Agent Orange was used as a defoliant to remove jungle cover concealing Viet Names forces.
on September 2,2013 | 01:40PM
allie wrote:
it defoliated human lives as well
on September 2,2013 | 02:46PM
HD36 wrote:
That was my point. Thank you Allie. If it kills weeds it'll people too.
on September 2,2013 | 07:41PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Yep. Some Americans love another country more than America. That hurts a veteran like myself.
on September 2,2013 | 06:41PM
HD36 wrote:
We love veterens, but hate the people who profit and get us into false wars.
on September 2,2013 | 09:44PM
LizKauai wrote:
Regardless. A way to protect the innocents must be found. War is Hell.
on September 2,2013 | 08:30AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Bush lied and people died, that's what the Democrats said. Now the shoe is on the other foot.
on September 2,2013 | 12:19PM
allie wrote:
Obama is no liberal hon. He is a stooge
on September 2,2013 | 01:14PM
mikethenovice wrote:
You were doing just fine before the comma.
on September 2,2013 | 06:42PM
Tony96822 wrote:
Like my grandpa use to say, "Why clean your neighbor's house and yard for free when you can't even clean your own bedroom."
on September 2,2013 | 08:58AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
Spot on......
on September 2,2013 | 10:25AM
mikethenovice wrote:
If my neighbor's yard has the money, mine yard can wait. That's what grandma said to grandpa.
on September 2,2013 | 06:43PM
DABLACK wrote:
Tony....only thing is we are going to lose a lot of our people for somebody's "dirty" house. Not fair huh !!
on September 2,2013 | 09:27AM
Tony96822 wrote:
We're slowly killing our own by backing signatures to BIG BUCK backing companies like Monsanto and not thinking long term health, growth in the U.S. And you will never stop the Middle East "Holy Smoke" wars. The tribal beats keep moving along the lands there and its been like that since the beginning of biblical times. The US can try but will never complete the so called "Biblical Peace Times". Look at Iraq, Iran, Afghan. Spent all that money trying to turn them into "US support" allies. As soon as you pull back, things go back to normal. Those billions could have been spent on solar energy, education, health care, etc. Meanwhile China watches and minds their own healthy, wealthy business and up to this point, built their own country into a power play of highly intelligent people on their upper echelon (even though they have the high proverty rate). You can't change cultures, only suspend their lifestyle and beliefs. At the end of the day, after you left, your neighbors house and yard will still need to be cleaned. Now they expect you to clean it.
on September 2,2013 | 11:01AM
localguy wrote:
Tony96822 - China is hardly the economic powerhouse you paint it up to be. 60 Minutes showed where the Chinese government is behind the process to build entire cities with no one living in them. At some time the real estate bubble will burst. Their financial situation is totally government controlled, when they say how much the GNP grew, everyone knows this is fake. Chinese records show this, no one is listening. They have no retirement system as we do, many of the people are still poor peasants, cronyism takes people's property at will to make money, corruption is rampant. No, the grass is not greener in China, more like a light brown, One key standard of how respected is how many people are trying to become Chinese citizens. Easy to see there are no lines, all are coming to the USA.
on September 2,2013 | 01:47PM
HD36 wrote:
Really, than why do we have to borrow money from them? Why is the US the largest debtor nation in the history of the world? Why do 75% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
on September 2,2013 | 07:55PM
mikethenovice wrote:
MON stocks rock!
on September 2,2013 | 06:44PM
Bumby wrote:
The weapon and war supporting companies sending out information and creating theses situation so the U.S. will spend more money to keep them making money. However the money and power mongrels who are manipulating the world is behind all this. They don't care about people they care about their agenda, power and money. The U.S. is their mighty knight to do all their dirty work. Once upon a time it was England who was the mighty knight. Why as a country are we always the one to have a story that needs to be looked into and defended? Is that not the role of the United Nations which then should employ all contries to concur and act together? Are we being used?
on September 2,2013 | 10:06AM
HD36 wrote:
True, the choice seems obvious. Obama loses face vs WWIII.
on September 2,2013 | 12:37PM
stingray65 wrote:
If you want to shoot, Shoot!!! Do not talk! Do not give them time to prepare...Let him know after we hit them with a very effective target, that his people will throw him out of power later...Amen.. Russians! they do not know the hole on the ground from the hole in thier behind..LOL
on September 2,2013 | 10:29AM
Agility wrote:
Why would War be the first option for anyone rational mind? If Freezing Assets is effective on South Africa and Iran why not start with diplomacy? Why support Al Qaeda? I thought we were done with that with Bush! who supported Saudi Al Qaeda against our Innocent Ally Sadam in Iraq? How come nobody in Government is willing to admit that on 9-11 we were attacked by Saudi Arabia citizens with the fore knowledge of the Saudi Government. They admitted to it Why doesn't the Government and the American Citizens know and accept that truth?
on September 2,2013 | 10:30AM
Pacej001 wrote:
1. We won't be supporting Al Qaeda. 2. Bush did not support Al Qaeda. 3. Saddam was about as innocent as Stalin. 4. No proof of Saudi government collusion in 9-11.
on September 2,2013 | 10:58AM
allie wrote:
Bush slept while AQ attacked. Still mysterious as to what Bush was really up to by leaving us vulnerable.
on September 2,2013 | 11:42AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Bush did not sleep. Bush was standing in line at the bank to make a big deposit.
on September 2,2013 | 06:46PM
mikethenovice wrote:
President Agility in 2016?
on September 2,2013 | 06:45PM
Ewaduffer wrote:
We will not send American boys to fight Syrian boys battles. Kind of sound similar to words we have heard before?
on September 2,2013 | 10:31AM
allie wrote:
yup..but you will when Israel orders you to die for them. Always works
on September 2,2013 | 11:44AM
localguy wrote:
allie - how little you know about how the world works. Israel has the most powerful military in the region, they don't need us to fight their battles. Actually they would prefer peace as they have enjoyed with Egypt since the war ended. Might need to go visit the middle east to see how far behind you are. Can't believe you are in college with such out of date, backwards views.
on September 2,2013 | 01:54PM
allie wrote:
They would rather you paid for and faught their battles.
on September 2,2013 | 02:47PM
mikethenovice wrote:
faught? fought?
on September 2,2013 | 06:48PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Even Warren Buffet has investments in Israel.
on September 2,2013 | 06:47PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The US has a problem in its economy which needs the highest priority - leave Syria to the Arabs. It is not our problem.
on September 2,2013 | 10:56AM
allie wrote:
true..But Obama is a total bust and will make mistakes until USA is on a steeper downward spiral than now. Hawaiian sovs. who are laughing that the USA is done and gone may change their minds when they realize that there days of shibai and free money for non-existent wrongs are over. As Inouye said, "i can't get you the money anymore because we are broke..."
on September 2,2013 | 11:46AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Of course Obama is a total bus. But your political bias against Obama has nothing to do with the argument that the Syrian problem be left to the Arabs. We have a serious economic problem that should not be made worse by military action against Syria.
on September 2,2013 | 01:11PM
allie wrote:
yup
on September 2,2013 | 01:15PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Inouye. The pork Barrel King.
on September 2,2013 | 06:49PM
ya_think wrote:
I don't think people are questioning that some sort of gas was used, but they are questioning who are the ones who launched it. There is mounting evidence that it was the rebels that either launched it or accidentally blew up the bombs. http://www.globalresearch.ca/jabhat-al-nusra-rebels-admit-responsibility-for-chemical-weapons-attack/5347485
on September 2,2013 | 11:36AM
localguy wrote:
Globalresearch is not the most credible news agency, basically cub reporters for hire. globalresearch.ca mostly consists of polemics many of which accept (and use) conspiracy theories, pseudoscience and propaganda. Its politico-economic stance is strongly anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-militarist, "internationalist but anti-globalization." Its view of science, the economy and geopolitics seems to be broadly conspiracist. Many of globalresearch.ca's articles discuss legitimate humanitarian or environmental concerns, but the site has a strong undercurrent of reality warping and B S throughout its pages.
on September 2,2013 | 02:07PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
Regardless of whatever "proof" there is...the U.S. should not involve itself in military intervention in what is a civil war in Syria.... while its tragic that the regime there is killing its own citizens....the U.S. cannot solve the internal problems of other countries......
on September 2,2013 | 11:46AM
inverse wrote:
The evidence Kerry is presenting is the SAME time of evidence Colin Powell presented to the UN regarding Saddam Hussein's active mobile chemical weapons factories in Iraq. It was fabricated by the an Iraqi dissident that was code named CURVEBALL by US interrogators. The whole purpose for the US to attack Syria at this point in time is for Obama to SAVE FACE.
on September 2,2013 | 12:02PM
HD36 wrote:
The military indusrrial complex and the central bank are pushing their harlots to attack.
on September 2,2013 | 12:21PM
allie wrote:
where did the evidence come from...Kerry won't say specifically. Who is feeding the silly Obama admin. this information? Even if it were accurate, why should USA intervene. UN should do it.
on September 2,2013 | 01:16PM
localguy wrote:
allie - Information is coming from UN inspectors on site in Syria. have you not been watching the news showing them taking samples? You do have news access right? By taking the information from the UN, the USA has an impartial source. Yes, dysfunctional China and Russia will whine, their standard. Both countries are legends in their own mind. Unfortunately the UN has no standing miltary forces, come from member countries. Sad to say most of them are all talk, no action. their standard.
on September 2,2013 | 02:00PM
inverse wrote:
The ONLY evidence UN inspectors have is that Sarin gas was used. They do NOT have any verifiable evidence on WHO gave the order, where the gas came from within Syria and who actually released the gas. And if they actually have REAL evidence, they need to NAME their sources providing the information and release that information for review.
on September 2,2013 | 02:13PM
allie wrote:
you got it
on September 2,2013 | 02:48PM
allie wrote:
final report is not out yet.
on September 2,2013 | 02:48PM
HD36 wrote:
CNN, the propoganda machine is really banging the drum beats of war.
on September 2,2013 | 12:20PM
allie wrote:
yup
on September 2,2013 | 01:16PM
scooters wrote:
Not surprising. What else would the "Commies" have said?
on September 2,2013 | 03:36PM
wahine wrote:
I love my country the US, but doubt the proof too... :(
on September 2,2013 | 04:03PM
mikethenovice wrote:
So much for Reagan's cry to tear down this (Berlin)Wall to end the Cold War. That was just a ruse to the Americans. As far as the Russians have it, nothing has changed there since the dawn of time.
on September 2,2013 | 06:37PM
aomohoa wrote:
Sure hope I'm not sorry I'm going to Russia next month.
on September 2,2013 | 06:42PM
SueH wrote:
And Russia probably thought the Titanic was just stopping for ice, too.......
on September 2,2013 | 09:49PM
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