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Russia Says Chemical Weapons No Pretext For Syria Intervention

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov
A top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin says claims that chemical weapons have been used in Syria should not become a pretext for foreign military intervention in the country.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin's Middle East envoy, was speaking in Beirut.

Also on April 27, Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi called Western suspicions that Damascus has used chemical weapons “a bald-faced lie.”

The remarks come a day after U.S. President Barack Obama warned Damascus that any use of chemical weapons would be a "game changer" in how Washington views the Syria crisis.

On April 25, U.S. officials said for the first time there was evidence the Syrian regime had likely used chemical weapons in small quantities but that more investigation was necessary to confirm the suspicions.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax