Moscow warns West against 'tragic mistake' in Syria
MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia on Sunday welcomed Damascus' offer to allow a mission by UN inspectors probing alleged chemical weapons use and warned the West that military action against the Syrian regime would be a "tragic mistake".
"We strongly urge those who, by attempting to impose their own results on the UN experts, are raising the possibility of a military operation in Syria to use their common sense and refrain from committing a tragic mistake," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.
The United Nations said its inspectors could begin work as early as Monday, after Damascus agreed to the probe on Sunday during a visit by top UN official Angela Kane.
Washington, which has said that evidence President Bashar al-Assad's regime used chemical weapons would cross a red line and warrant tougher action, said the Syrian offer was "too late to be credible".