Middle East

Russia says chance of foreign intervention in Syria growing

U.N. peacekeepers drive past Lebanese, Palestinian and Hezbollah flags on the Lebanese side of the Israel-Lebanon border near the northern Israeli town of Metula May 5, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

MOSCOW: Russia said Monday it was concerned the chance of foreign military intervention in Syria was growing following reports of Israeli airstrikes around Damascus which were a source of "particular alarm".

"We are seriously concerned by the signs of preparation of global public opinion for possible armed intervention in the long-running internal conflict in Syria," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.

Russia also voiced concern at Israeli air strikes against Syrian targets, saying that they threatened to escalate tensions in neighbouring countries.

"We are looking into and analysing all the circumstances surrounding the especially concerning reports of the May 3 and May 5 Israeli air strikes," the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that they threatened to destabilise the situation in Lebanon.

Lukashevich also called on the West to stop politicising the issue of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, after suggestions that they had been used by both the regime and the rebels.

"We insistently urge to stop politicising this extremely serious question and whipping up an anti-Syrian atmosphere," he said. – Reuters, AFP





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