Dempsey: Russia might boost military assistance to Syria if US attacks

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia may hike military assistance to Syria if the United States strikes the Muslim country, the top US military officer told Congress.

“There is some indication that they (the Russians) have assured the regime that if we destroy something, they can replace it,” General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate hearing on Tuesday, the Daily Star reported.

The US and its allies have accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its own people near the capital, Damascus, on August 21, but Syria has vehemently ruled out any involvement in the attack, saying it was a false flag operation by the foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian army.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned America and its allies against taking one-sided action in Syria.

He said that any military strikes without UN approval would be “an aggression”.

Putin urged the West to present convincing evidence of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria to the UN Security Council, saying Moscow would react decisively if it was proven who was behind the crime.

“If there is evidence that chemical weapons were used, and by the regular army,… then this evidence must be presented to the UN Security Council. And it must be convincing,” Putin said in an interview broadcast on Channel One television ahead of the G20 summit this week.

Putin stressed that the proof must be “convincing” and not based on “rumors” or any sort of “eavesdropped intelligence data,” conversations etc.

If there was clear proof of what weapons were used and who used them Russia “will be ready to act in the most decisive and serious way,” Putin said.

“We believe that at the very least we should wait for the results of the UN inspection commission in Syria. We believe that at the very least the results of the UN inspection commission in Syria research should be ready,” Putin said, adding that so far there is no information about what chemical agent exactly was used in the attack in Damascus’ suburbs and who did it.

“I’ve already said I find it absolutely ridiculous that (Syrian) government’s armed forces, which today are actually on an offense mission and in some regions have already encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that the Syrian army has used prohibited chemical weapons,” Putin said.

“They know all too well that this could become a cause for sanctions and even for a military operation against them. That’s stupid and illogical.”

“Even in the US there are experts who question the reliability of the facts presented by the administration. These experts do not exclude the possibility that the Syrian opposition has conducted a pre-planned provocation in order to give their sponsors a reason for military intervention,” he acknowledged.

He confirmed that Russia had delivered some components of S-300 missile systems to Syria but deliveries had now been “suspended”.

By Fars News Agency


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