MOSCOW - The Syrian government said on Tuesday military intervention in Syria was "impossible" because it would lead to a confrontation beyond the country's borders.
Deputy Syrian Prime Minister Qadri Jamil, speaking at a news conference in Moscow, appeared to be responding to US President Barack Obama's threat that American forces could act if Syria deployed chemical weapons against rebels.
Jamil said the West was looking for an excuse for military intervention, likening the focus on Syria's chemical weapons with Western policy towards Iraq, invaded by US-led forces on the grounds it was concealing weapons of mass destruction.
"The West is looking for an excuse for direct intervention. If this excuse does not work, it will look for another excuse. But it does not understand a new fact, confirmed in the international situation after the Russian-Chinese veto which has continued until this moment," he said.
He was referring to China and Russia's veto of Security Council action that would have added to international pressure on President Basher Assad, who is fighting to put down a 17-month old uprising against his rule.
"Direct military intervention in Syria is impossible because whoever thinks about it ... is heading towards a confrontation wider than Syria's borders," he said. "Regarding Obama's threats, they are media threats to be used in the media campaign in readiness for the coming elections."