Russian Duma warns US against Syria strike

By REUTERS
September 11, 2013 18:55

MOSCOW - The Russian parliament on Wednesday urged the United States not to strike Syria, warning that military action could be a "crime against the Syrian people" but stopping short of threatening countermeasures.

Air strikes would "lead to new civilian deaths, further destruction of vital infrastructure and, in the end, an irreversible humanitarian catastrophe," the State Duma, the lower chamber, said in a declaration adopted by unanimous vote.

The non-binding declaration by the Duma, dominated by the Kremlin-controlled United Russia party, echoed the vociferous opposition to US military action of President Vladimir Putin and his government.

"Those who are prepared to give an order for such an attack should understand that such actions could be qualified as a very crude violation of international law and as a crime against the Syrian people," it said.

It warned that a strike could "place nuclear and chemical security in the region under threat", a reference to Syria's chemical weapons stocks and a small reactor that contains radioactive uranium.


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