West imposing its own will on people of Syria: Damascus
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The Syrian government says the West is trying to impose its own will on the people of Syria over the future of the country. "The United States, France and Britain have revealed their true objective ... which is to impose their will on the Syrian people," the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. It also accused the West of supporting militant groups linked to the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front. The statement came after the US, the UK and France agreed on Monday to press for a UN resolution to ensure Damascus would comply with a US-Russian deal to remove its chemical arsenals by mid-2014. "If Assad fails to comply with the framework (of the US-Russian plan) we are all agreed that there will be consequences," said US Secretary of State John Kerry after meeting with his French and British counterparts in Paris. The three countries also announced plans to increase their assistance to the foreign-backed militants in Syria, which is considered by the Syrian government as a new obstacle to end the crisis. "Claims by the United States and its allies that they want a political solution for the crisis in Syria ... contradict their never-ending attempts ... at imposing their conditions, and at supporting groups that practice violence and terrorism in Syria," the Foreign Ministry statement also said. Russia and the US agreed last Saturday in Geneva on a deal to eliminate Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons by mid-2014. Based on the agreement, Damascus has one week to hand over the details of its chemical weapons to international inspectors. Syria has accepted the proposal, which was initially put forward by Russia as a way to head off Washington's possible use of force against Damascus. The war rhetoric against Syria gained momentum on August 21, when the militants operating inside the country and the foreign-backed Syria opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds on the outskirts of Damascus. Damascus has repeatedly said the deadly attack was a false-flag operation carried out by the Takfiri groups in a bid to draw in foreign military intervention.