Syria has asked UN to prevent aggression
DAMASCUSSyria has asked the United Nations to do its utmost to “prevent any aggression” against it, as the United States weighs military action against Damascus over alleged chemicals weapons usage.
“The Syrian government calls on the U.N. secretary general to assume his responsibilities ... and to make efforts to prevent any aggression against Syria,” the agency said, quoting a letter from Syria’s U.N. representative, Bashar al-Jaafari.
“The Syrian government repeats once again that it has never used chemical weapons,” al-Jaafari wrote in the letter. “The world was expecting the United States to play its role as a sponsor of peace ... by preparing seriously for the Geneva conference on Syria, and not as a country that uses military force against those who oppose its policies.”
Earlier in the year, the U.S. and Russia said they would work to organize a peace conference in Geneva to seek a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
Russia, US deploy more ships
But the efforts have gradually fallen apart, with leaders announcing successive delays to the mooted meeting.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday that military action against Damascus would put off chances for a peace conference for “a long time, if not forever.” Meanwhile, Russian and the U.S. are deploying warships in the region. Moscow is sending a reconnaissance ship to the eastern Mediterranean, Interfax news agency reported today.
The reconnaissance ship left Russia’s naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol late Sept. 1 on a mission “to gather current information in the area of the escalating conflict,” the Interfax report quoted an unidentified military source as saying.
The Defense Ministry declined immediate comment but Interfax said the vessel, the SSV-201 Priazovye, would operate separately from a Russian Navy unit already stationed in the Mediterranean.
Washington is also moving the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier westward toward the Red Sea, although it has not yet received orders to support a potential U.S. strike on Syria.
The Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes a guided missile cruiser and four destroyers, was kept in the Indian Ocean for a “prudent responsible decision,” an official told the ABC channel.