Russians leave Syria over US war threats

Russians leave Syria over US war threats
Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:18:20

Dozens of Russian citizens, mostly women and children, have left Syria with a special plane due to the increased threats of a Western attack on the already war-torn country.

According to the report, an Ilyushin Il-62 departed from Latakia, a major port city in Syria’s northwest, with 89 people aboard, including 75 Russian nationals.

Two Russian Emergencies Ministry’s aircraft landed in Syria on Tuesday bringing over 20 metric tons of humanitarian cargo to local residents.

Worries mounted in the region following US intentions to bomb Syria over conflicting reports of an alleged chemical attack that is widely believed to have been committed by Syria militants to open the way for their Western and Arab supporters to attack Syria.

Russia has strongly criticized US military ambitions in a condition that the two had agreed to follow a political solution to end the Western-backed deadly insurgency in the Arab country.

More than 600 citizens of Russia and other former Soviet republics have fled the war in Syria on the planes since January.

Russian Ria Novosti news agency reported that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the Syria crisis with US State Secretary John Kerry on Tuesday.

During the phone conversation Kerry accused President Assad's government of using chemical weapons while the Syrian government has categorically rejected using chemical weapons while it is cooperating with a UN team of inspectors to find out the truth about the attack.

Syrian foreign minister Waleed al-Muallem told a news conference on Tuesday that the government had some evidence on the case which proved US claims wrong.

Head of the United Nations refugee agency warned that Syria could be on the "verge of the abyss" as aid workers brace for a likely increase in the nearly 2 million refugees who have already fled the country.

Antonio Guterres, the head of the Office for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, called on Syria's neighbors to keep their borders open to accommodate additional Syrians seeking to escape the war.

He made the comments during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad while on a visit to Iraq.

The country's northern Kurdish region has been flooded with tens of thousands of refugees since the middle of the month.


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