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Russia warns U.S., compares Obama to Bush

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Aug. 26, 2013 at 3:46 PM  |  Updated Aug. 27, 2013 at 2:32 PM   |   Comments

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Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Russian officials drew comparisons between the the current U.S. responses toward the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and the run-up to the Iraq war 10 years ago.

The foreign ministry released a statement accusing the U.S. of drumming up the reports that the Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians in order to launch military intervention.

"The fact that agenda-driven regional mass media have begun an aggressive attack at once, as if on command, laying all responsibility on the government, draws attention," said foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich last week.

"It is apparently no coincidence that information like this regarding the authorities using chemical weapons has been thrown in before, including in the past days, citing some opposition sources, however it was not confirmed later," he said. "All this can only lead us to thik that we are dealing with a provocation planned in advance."

Russia has taken credit for getting Syria to agree to allow United Nations inspectors into the country, although the team was greeted with gunfire Sunday and then only allowed 90 minutes to inspect a suspicious site Monday.

Syrian ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad denied reports that the government had used chemical weapons, instead alleging the reports were meant to confuse international observers.

"All reports on this topic are aimed at repeating the Iraqi scenario in Syria where there were allegedly weapons of mass destruction," Haddad said. "But there was an attempt to politicize this investigation by one of the superpowers supporting terrorists in our country."

MP Alexei Pushkov, the head of Russia's lower house international committee called President Barack Obama a "clone" of his predecessor, implying Obama's administration using the reports of the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians to manufacture a reasons to go to war in the same way President George W. Bush relied on later-disproved accounts of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to invade in 2003.

"Obama is restlessly heading towards war in Syria like Bush was heading towards war in Iraq. Like in Iraq, this war would be illegitimate and Obama will become Bush’s clone,” Pushkov tweeted.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday there is "very little doubt" the Assad regime was responsible for using chemical weapons and was considering how to respond.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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