Putin Blasts US Claims on Syria as 'Nonsense'
UN inspectors have left the country to begin preparing report
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2013 6:01 AM CDT
A convoy of U.N. experts crosses into Lebanon Saturday. UN investigators have left Syria.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(Newser) – John Kerry says he has "high confidence" in US intelligence reports that Syria used chemical weapons. Vladimir Putin has two much different words on the subject: "utter nonsense." The Russian leader used the phrase in urging the US to hold off on any military action until the UN has completed its investigation, reports the BBC. The clock is ticking on that: UN inspectors left Syria today and will brief Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but their full report to the Security Council might take a week or so to complete, reports CNN.

Kerry and Obama have suggested that the US won't wait that long, in part because the UN inspectors are charged only with determining whether chemical weapons were used, not who employed them. The US says it already is sure that Bashar al-Assad is the culprit. Putin, though, told reporters that it would have been foolish for Assad to order the Aug. 21 attack because his troops have the upper hand in the war. "In these conditions, to give a trump card to those who are calling for a military intervention is utter nonsense."

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Aug 31, 2013 5:36 PM CDT
Russia doesn't need the US wee weeing on another backyard BBQ of the Kremlin. I mean if you ever have seen a missile battery, control center, or launch pad in Syria, Iran, N. Korea, or China, they all have Russian instruction manuals. You visit China's war museum in Beijing and there are all those missiles with Russian serial numbers on the side. You see displays with items marked in Russian all the way back to the 60's when we kicked most Chinese scientists out of the USA for spying. Of course China just switched to using exchange students and interns to do the spying after that. But its interesting traveling the world and seeing Russian characters on so much military hardware. We think that Raytheon, Grumman, Northrup are the armorers of the world, Not even close. Russia has armed much of the un-free world going on 70 years now.
Aug 31, 2013 12:00 PM CDT
Putin and Obama - ideological twins
Aug 31, 2013 11:21 AM CDT
If Putin claims that Assad had "upper hand in the war" and had no reason to use the weapon than I think, if Assad really had upper hand, he would not let that to happen. Assad should have done everything he could to stop rebels from using it, this would indicate that he has control over the country. Those "rebels" are paid for military trained soldiers, who are fighting there and someone is paying them to do that, I don't who but someone does. It may appear that he was winning the war and that's why they have this "deal with chem", so you go there and wipe Assad's strong holds, so the "rebels" can win. This is only my speculation, not Putin's.