AP, NEW YORK TIMES, BBC
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin says he doesn't rule out his country's participation in a military operation in Syria if evidence showing that Damascus carried out chemical attacks is "convincing". He added that the operation must be conducted with U.N. approval.
In a rare interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday night, Putin said the West should not take one-sided action against Syria, stating such an action would be "an aggression." The interview came ahead of a G-20 meeting of world leaders in St. Petersburg on Thursday. The summit was supposed to focus on the global economy, but now looks likely to be dominated by the Syrian crisis, the New York Times said.
The latest on Syria:
- The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee could vote as early as Wednesday on a resolution authorizing a strike at Syria.
- Reuters reported that Barack Obama won the backing of key figures in the U.S. Congress, including Republicans, in his call for limited U.S. strikes on Syria.
- The French Parliment is set to debate on Wednesday afternoon on a potential intervention in Syria, Le Monde reported. The possibility of a vote on the matter is not yet clear, but the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said it was not excluded.
- According to Reuters, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense or with U.N. Security Council authorization, remarks that appear to question the legality of U.S. plans to strike Syria without U.N. backing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual press conference in Moscow, last December - Photo : Jiang Kehong - Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS