Russia-West split over Syria hits a new crisis point
MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's two-and-a-half year dispute with the West over the conflict in Syria intensified to a new level on Monday as Moscow warned Washington of the "extremely dangerous consequences" of military action against the Damascus regime.
The alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack outside Damascus has driven a new wedge between Russia and the West over Syria, with Moscow and Western capitals offering vastly different interpretations of the incident.
Whereas nations like Britain and France have said the attack was perpetrated by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Russia has made clear Moscow believes that it was a ploy carried out by rebels with the aim of discrediting the Kremlin's traditional ally.
Western states are now clamouring for military action against Mr Assad over the attack but Russia is warning such intervention will destabilise the entire Middle East and would be based on false reasoning.