September 11, 2013 9:43 pm
Updated: September 12, 2013 4:52 pm

Putin says poison gas used by Syria’s rebels to provoke intervention

President Vladimir Putin says that Russia has strong grounds to believe that Syrian rebels were responsible for the country's chemical attack.

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Russian President Vladimir Putin is using an opinion piece in The New York Times to assert that it’s alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States.

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Putin says he doubts that such interventions are in the long-term interest of the U.S. He also says millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model for democracy, but as relying solely on brute force.

“Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes,” writes Putin.

“No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.”

WATCH: White House spokesperson Jay Carney said  Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s credibility as a leader on the world stage hangs on the successful outcome of his proposed deal to avert military action in Syria

In the article posted Wednesday on the Times website, Putin repeats his contention that there is every reason to believe that Syrian rebels, not Bashar Assad’s government, are responsible for the poison gas attack on a Damascus last month.

“No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.”

The Russian leader says he supports the effort to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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