Ace News Desk – #syria – latest – 18-09-2013 – 19-09-2013 #peace 14:15 GMT: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he believes the use of chemical weapons in Damascus on August 21 was a provocation on the part of the Syrian rebels.
“We have every grounds to believe that it was a provocation. Of course, it was adroit and clever, but, at the same time, primitive in terms of technical performance. They took an old Soviet-made missile, which was taken out of service in the Syrian army long ago. It was most important to have ‘made in the USSR’ written [on the missile],” Putin said at the Valdai discussion forum on Thursday.
12:30 GMT: Russia is ready to take part in the transportation and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, according to Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu
“What awaits us is a huge and serious task to fulfill, and we are only at the beginning of the process,” said Shoigu as cited by Vesti24. “Whatever role we get when it comes to international control [of Syrian chemical weapons] – be it transportation or destruction – Russia and its military forces are naturally ready to take it on.”
12:15 GMT: An estimated 130 French nationals or immigrants are now fighting in Syria, according to the country’s Interior Minister, Manuel Valls.
“It worries me because they could represent a potential threat [to France] upon their return,” Valls said, as cited by France 24.
The Minister specified that the number is bigger than in other recent conflicts in the region, such as Iraq or Afghanistan.
12:00 GMT: Turkey has shut one of its border gates to Syria following fighting, which took place in the Syrian town of Azaz near the Turkish frontier. Two rebel groups reportedly confronted each other – an Al-Qaeda affiliated group clashed with the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, according to a Turkish official, cited by Reuters.
“The Oncupinar border gate has been closed for security reasons as there is still confusion about what is happening on the Syrian side. All humanitarian assistance that normally goes through the gate has ceased,” the official said.
11:25 GMT: Russia is completely ready for the possible evacuation of its citizens from Syria in case it is needed, according to Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, cited by RIA news agency. Seven thousand Russian citizens are currently in Syria. The Minister said he was ordered by President Putin to prepare the evacuation plans.https://acenewsservices.com/2013/09/03/syria-crisis-live-as-it-happens-when-it-happens-peace/