By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
As the global meeting of world leaders at the Russia G20 summit takes place in Saint Petersburg, harsh words are being traded back and forth about Syria. Since the US and its allies say that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against is people and should be punished, allies of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad are talking back.
Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the US has no right to make “humanitarian claims (given) their track record” in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He believes the US is committing a mistake in wanting to go after Syria, and that America will “take the blow and definitely suffer” if they do strike.
The Islamic militant group, Hezbollah, which the US has labeled a terrorist organization, believes that the desire to attack Syria is an Israeli conspiracy and “a form of direct and organized terrorism.” Lebanon’s official National News Agency released a statement by Hezbollah that said, “These threats fail to conceal the true objectives of this strike aimed at mobilizing Israeli (strength) in the region in an attempt to impose the Western colonial grip.”
This tough talk from Iran and Hezbollah shows that Syria’s civil war could have major consequences beyond Syria, setting off a wider war that might make the Middle East even more chaotic. However, US and other leaders are still calling for military action against the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. They believe not punishing the al-Assad government would only encourage them to use more chemical weapons, something which most of the world’s nations agree should never be used, even in war. US President Barack Obama said that “The moral thing to do is to not stand by and do nothing.”
Russia, who has many business contracts with Syria, is opposed to a strike, demanding absolute proof of al-Assad’s involvement in the chemical weapons attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin even called US Secretary of State John Kerry a liar, saying, “He is lying, and (he) knows he is lying. It’s sad.” However, British forces have also found evidence of sarin gas, a chemical weapon, and believe that al-Assad is responsible. France’s foreign minister also said his nation has samples of the sarin.