Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an op-ed for the New York
Times that striking Syria could “undermine multilateral efforts
to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Russia recently proposed a plan to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control, a move that led U.S. President Barack Obama to postpone a congressional vote on a U.S. strike of the civil war-marred nation. The U.S. strike would be a response to the use of chemical weapons on civilians by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
But Putin believes it is possible that the Syrian opposition, and not the Assad regime, used the chemical weapons. The Russian president also warned that Syrian rebels may attack Israel.
“No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack—this time against Israel—cannot be ignored,” Putin wrote.