Putin writes Syria opinion piece for New York Times
Furthering academic debate over how to respond to the Syria crisis, Vladimir Putin this week wrote an opinion piece entitled “A plea for caution from Russia” which infers that Assad’s government may not have been behind a recent chemical attack.
In the article, written for and published by the New York Times, the Russian president said that while chemical weapons had been used during the Syrian conflict, “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.”
The piece addresses both the American people and their leaders, urging them to avoid using force and not to act without the authorisation of the UN Security Council. In it Putin warns against the detrimental effect that a US strike against Assad could have, saying it would “increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.”
Putin instead champions the plan introduced by Moscow to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.
In the concluding paragraph of the article, which appeared on the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, Mr Putin referred to Barack Obama’s mention of America’s exceptionalism in the speech he made to the nation earlier in the week.
“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to view themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation” he wrote.
“I welcome the President’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive.”