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Russia says West only interested in overthrowing Assad

United Nations, United States | AFP | Russia on Friday accused the West of having the sole aim in Syria of overthrowing the government as it urged US, French and British leaders to refrain from military action.

“We continue to observe dangerous military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state,” Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the UN Security Council.

The United States is consulting with Britain and France about a joint military response to the attack in Douma that medics and rescuers said left at least 40 people dead on Saturday.

But Nebenzia said the goal was to oust President Bashar al-Assad from power.

“The sole thing that they have an interest in is to oust the Syrian government and to deter, contain the Russian Federation,” he added.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said no decision had been taken on military action and stressed the importance of carefully assessing all the implications.

“You don’t rush decisions like this,” Haley told reporters, adding that if there is haste “you make a mistake.”

Russia’s envoy Nebenzia called on the United States, France and Britain “not to bring the world to such a dangerous threshold.”

The warning from Moscow came as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that increasing tensions over Syria could lead to “full-blown military escalation.”

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