President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has warned the United States against taking any military action in Syria, saying any kind of military intervention will only bring failure “like in all the previous wars they waged starting with Vietnam and up to the present day.” Mr. Assad said in an interview that though America has waged many wars, not even once has it been able to “achieve its political goals,” says a report from The New York Times.
In an interview given to Russian newspaper Izvestia, Mr. Assad said that the accusations leveled against his government of using chemical weapons are baseless and an “outrage against common sense.”
A strategic move
Selecting a Russian newspaper to reveal his views is a strategic move from the president, pointing out that the leader still enjoys strong support from Moscow. Last week local forces attacked the outskirts of Damascus, claiming the lives of many.
A spokesman from Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that military action by any nation in response to any supposed chemical weapons attack would be premature as it prejudges the results of the United Nations inspections.
On Monday, a statement from Russia’s foreign ministry underlined that even a Western military action on Syria will not prompt Russia to use its force. A report from Reuters, quoted a foreign minister as saying, “We have no plans to go to war with anyone.”
Western leaders doubting Mr. Assad’s gesture
Mr. Assad said that they will fully cooperate with the weapons inspectors, however, western leaders viewed the gesture with skepticism, saying the offer comes a bit too late for the inspectors to make a proper judgment of the situation. Also, British foreign secretary William Hague commented on Monday that access to the sites was limited as inspectors were given only a “certain number of hours.”
On Sunday, officials in Washington waid that President Obama has not decided to take action. However, a senior Obama administration official said that there is a very good chance that Mr. Assad used chemical weapons against civilians, and any gesture made by the Syrian leader to cooperate with United Nations inspectors are “too late to be credible.”
UN inspectors attacked in Syria
Also, there is news that United Nations inspectors who were on their way to a suspected chemical attack site in Syria were attacked multiple times by “unidentified snipers” on Monday. According to a statement in New York by the United Nations, the first car in their convoy was hit.
There were no injuries reported, but the car was “no longer serviceable,” due to which inspectors came back “to the government check-point.”