Syria asks UN to prevent aggression against it
Cairo: Syria has appealed to the UN to try to "prevent any aggression" against it and said US military action would amount to "support for al-Qaeda and its affiliates," even as President Barack Obama today lobbied with war-weary American lawmakers to convince them for a strike.
"The Syrian government calls on the UN secretary general to assume his responsibilities… and to make efforts to prevent any aggression against Syria," the state-run SANA news agency said, quoting a letter from Syria's UN representative Bashar al-Jaafari.
The letter also called on the United Nations to help seek a "peaceful political solution to the crisis" in Syria.
Meanwhile, a senior Syrian minister was quoted as saying by BBC that any US military action against Syria would amount to "support for al-Qaeda and its affiliates."
"Any attack against Syria is support for al-Qaeda and its affiliates, whether Jabat al-Nusra or the State of Islam in Syria and Iraq," Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said.
Muqdad, who is considered to be highly influential within President Bashar al-Assad's government, also warned that possible US intervention would deepen "hatred for the Americans" and destabilise the whole Middle East.
The US has claimed 1,429 people were killed in the alleged chemical attacks carried out by the Assad regime in a Damascus suburb on August 21.
Syria, however, has denied US charges, saying jihadists fighting with the rebels used the deadly weapons in an effort to turn global sentiments against it.
Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough have made individual calls to members of Congress, a senior White House official said.
The aggressive lobbying comes after a classified briefing was held on Capitol Hill late yesterday.
In a surprise move, Obama has sought congressional approval for limited military intervention in Syria to win more support for his plan to punish the Assad regime for the attack.
Obama administration is facing resistance from lawmakers even before Congress officially comes back to Washington on September 9.
Resistance against the imminent US strike is also mounting at the international front with veto-wielding Russia today saying that it was totally unconvinced by the evidence presented by the US and its allies.
"What we were shown before and most recently by our American partners as well the British and the French absolutely does not convince us," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.