Syria says it will defend itself against attack

Syrian Foreign Minister rejects accusations by US's Kerry, saying Assad's gov't is not obstructing UN team, says 'Syria will press on with military campaign'

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem held a press conference Tuesday and said his country would defend itself using "all means available" in case of a US strike.


He said that Syria had two choices, either to surrender or to fight back, and it would choose the latter. He declined to elaborate or say to what specific means he was referring.


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The Foreign Minister rejected accusations by US Secretary of State John Kerry, saying that President Bashar Assad's government was not obstructing the work of the UN team.


Moallem added that the second day of a UN inspection team's work had been postponed to Wednesday due to disagreements among the rebels over security arrangements.


According to the Foreign Minister, a US strike on syria would serve the interests of al-Qaeda-linked groups. "Syria will press on with military campaign," he added, "despite any possible foreign strikes."


Syrian sources said Tuesday that western powers told the opposition to expect a strike against Assad's forces within days.


Syria has accused US Secretary of State John Kerry of lying by claiming there is "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Syria likely carried out by the regime.


A statement on the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency says Kerry's insistence on "jumping over" the work of UN experts in Syria shows that the US has deliberate intentions to exploit events.


Kerry said Monday there is "undeniable" evidence of a chemical weapons attack, with intelligence strongly pointing to President Bashar Assad's government as being responsible. President Barack Obama has not decided how to respond to the purported use of deadly gases in the August 21 attack in the Damascus suburbs, which activists say killed hundreds of people.


SANA in the statement Tuesday said Kerry has "fabricated" evidence.


The British government said Tuesday its military was drawing up contingency plans for a possible military attack on Syria.


The possible military response would be in reaction to an alleged chemical attack on civilians in Syria.


Prime Minister David Cameron is facing pressure to recall Parliament later this week to discuss the crisis in Syria.


Cameron's office said Tuesday that the UK is considering a "proportionate" response that would deter Syrian President Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons in the future.


Reuters contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 08.27.13, 12:54
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