Moscow Warns Against Iraq-Style ‘Adventure’ in Syria

August 25. 2013


Russia on Sunday welcomed Damascus’ offer to allow a mission by UN inspectors probing alleged chemical weapons use and warned the West that an Iraq scenario in Syria would be a “tragic mistake”.

“We strongly urge those who, by attempting to impose their own results on the UN experts, are raising the possibility of a military operation in Syria to use their common sense and refrain from committing a tragic mistake,” foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.

“All this is reminiscent of events from a decade ago, when the United States bypassed the UN and used fallacious information on the presence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction to launch an adventure, the consequences of which are known to all,” he said.

The United States and Britain in 2003 led a military invasion of Iraq that toppled long-time dictator Saddam Hussein.

A UN mission had failed to find any of the weapons of mass destructions Saddam was suspected of possessing but the Iraqi strongman was known to have repeatedly used chemical weapons.

The United Nations said Sunday its inspectors in Syria could begin work as early as Monday, after Damascus agreed to the probe Sunday during a visit by top UN official Angela Kane.

Russia took credit for the deal, saying it was the result of “relentless efforts” by Moscow with the Syrian regime.

“We are satisfied with the Syrian leadership’s constructive approach towards ensuring an effective cooperation with the UN mission,” the spokesman said.

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