Duma warns US against Syria strike

2013-09-11 21:29

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - The Russian parliament on Wednesday urged the United States not to strike Syria, warning that military action could be a "crime against the Syrian people" but stopping short of threatening countermeasures.

Air strikes would "lead to new civilian deaths, further destruction of vital infrastructure and, in the end, an irreversible humanitarian catastrophe", the State Duma, the lower chamber, said in a declaration adopted by unanimous vote.

The non-binding declaration by the Duma, dominated by the Kremlin-controlled United Russia party, echoed the vociferous opposition to US military action of President Vladimir Putin and his government.

"Those who are prepared to give an order for such an attack should understand that such actions could be qualified as a very crude violation of international law and as a crime against the Syrian people," it said.

It warned that a strike could "place nuclear and chemical security in the region under threat", a reference to Syria's chemical weapons stocks and a small reactor that contains radioactive uranium.

Russia has been Syrian President Bashar Assad's most powerful backer during the civil conflict that has killed more than 100 000 people since 2011, delivering arms and - with China - blocking three UN resolutions meant to pressure Assad.

The Duma expressed support for Russia's proposal to place Syria's chemical arsenal under international control, which Putin said on Tuesday would only succeed if the United States and its allies abandoned plans for possible military action.

The vote followed debate in which lawmakers proposed Russia consider taking action to punish the United States if it does strike - such as withdrawing from the New START nuclear arms control pact, increasing weapons sales to Syrian ally Iran or curtailing cooperation with the United States on Afghanistan.

No such measures ended up in the declaration, but lawmakers said they could be included in a second statement that could be put to a vote if the United States strikes Syria.

The Duma criticised the US Congress for allegedly refusing to see Russian lawmakers who offered to travel to Washington for talks on Syria, saying it "could place interaction on key issues on the Russian-American agenda in question".

Read more on:    us  |  russia  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.