Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have "catastrophic consequences" for the region.
Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has called on the international community to show "prudence" over the crisis and observe international law, BBC reported.
"Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa," he said in a statement.
Late on Monday, the U.S. said it was postponing a meeting on Syria with Russian diplomats, citing "ongoing consultations" about alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Hours later, Russia expressed regret about the decision. The two sides had been due to meet in The Hague on Wednesday to discuss setting up an international conference on finding a political solution to the crisis.
The Russian deputy defense minister, Gennady Gatilov said working out the political parameters for a resolution on Syria would be especially useful, with the threat of force hanging over the country.
China has also warned that any attack on Syria would be dangerous and irresponsible, and the world should remember the Iraq war was started by U.S. allegations of weapons of mass destruction which turned out to be false, China's official Xinhua news agency said today.
Xinhua said Western powers were rushing to conclusions about who may have used chemical weapons in Syria before UN inspectors had completed their investigation.
Meanwhile the Syrian foreign minister has slammed military threats against his country, saying a military strike will only serve Israel's interests in the region, Press TV reported.
“The war effort led by the United States and their allies will serve the interests of Israel and secondly al-Nusra Front (an Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria),” Walid al-Muallem said during a news conference in the capital Damascus.
Western countries and their regional allies have targeted the unity among Syrian people and the army by threatening Damascus with a military attack, he added.
He also accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of lying about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, challenging Washington and its allies to provide evidence.
Denying allegations that Damascus has eliminated all traces of the chemical attack, Muallem said the Syrian army cannot do that because those areas are controlled by the militants fighting against the Syrian government.
He went on to say that Syria has cooperated fully with UN inspectors, adding, “If the purpose of a possible (foreign) military strike is to achieve a balance of power ... it's delusional and not at all possible.”
On Monday, Kerry used harsh language to refer to an alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar on August 21 where hundreds of people were killed and scores of others injured, saying that an “international norm cannot be violated without consequences.”
Both the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition accuse each other of being behind the deadly attack.
The Damascus government, however, has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the chemical attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since the outbreak of the violence.
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