Russia slams 'unacceptable' calls to use force in Syria

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Russia has slammed as "unacceptable" calls by some European countries for use of force against the Syrian government, following claims that it had used chemical weapons in a recent deadly attack. In a statement released on Friday by the country's Foreign Ministry, it said Moscow is against further propaganda targeting the Syrian regime. "Against the background of another anti-Syrian wave of propaganda, we believe calls from some European countries to apply pressure on the UN Security Council and already now take a decision on the use of force are unacceptable," Russian Foreign Ministry said in the statement. In addition, Russian Foreign Ministry said evidence was mounting that the attack was "clearly provocative in nature" and that footage posted online claiming to incriminate the Syrian regime had been posted before the chemical attack took place. It also accused the insurgents of "directly impeding an objective investigation" of the incident. There were also calls by the Ministry earlier on Friday for Takfiri militants operating in Syria to "ensure safe access" for the UN investigation team to the area where chemical weapons were allegedly used. The head of the so-called Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, claimed on August 21 that 1,300 people were killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar. However, the Syrian government vehemently dismissed the baseless claims, saying the new accusations were fabricated to distract the visiting team of the UN chemical weapons experts and to cover up militants' losses. Meanwhile, the UN children's agency, UNICEF, reported on the same day that one million Syrian children now live as refugees abroad and another two million are displaced within the country as a result of the ongoing fighting. According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in Syria since March 2011.

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