WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama took US concerns about Syrian chemical weapons to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, reaching out to one of the Syrian government's staunchest allies.
The United States is trying to determine the facts around alleged Syrian use of chemical weapons. Last week US officials said they had "varying degrees of confidence" that Syria had likely used the nerve agent sarin on a small scale against rebel fighters.
If proved with certainty, the chemical weapons' usage could trigger unspecified US actions against the Syrian government. Russia has been one of the Syrian government's staunchest allies.
"President Obama and President Putin reviewed the situation in Syria, with President Obama underscoring concern over Syrian chemical weapons," a White House statement said.
The two leaders agreed to stay in touch on the issue and that Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would continue discussions on Syria.