Russia has every reason to believe that the use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb in August was an adroit and smart provocation, President Vladimir Putin has said.
“We have every grounds to believe that it was a provocation. Of course, it was adroit and smart, but, at the same time, primitive in terms of technical performance. They took an old Soviet-made missile, which was taken out of service in the Syrian army long ago. It was most important to have ‘made in the USSR’ written [on the missile],” Putin said at the Valday discussion forum on Thursday.
The Russian president pointed out that the August 21st attack in Damascus was not the first time chemical weapons had been used in Syria.
“But why haven’t other cases been investigated?” he asked.
The chemical weapon attack must be thoroughly investigated and those behind it must be identified, Putin told the Valday Club meeting in Russia’s Novgorod Region.
“No matter how difficult it might be, but if in the end we manage to answer the question… as to who committed that crime – and that was certainly a crime – the next step will follow. Then, together with our colleagues from the United Nations Security Council we will have to define the level of responsibility of those who committed the crime,” Putin said.
He stressed that measures like military strikes cannot solve every international issue, while should also be brought to the UNSC rather than discussed in the US Congress.
“This would be a strike on the world order, not Syria,” the Russian leader said.