Russia seeks more detail from Turkey on sarin

Moscow, June 7 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Moscow has called on Turkey to provide more information about the reported seizure of the chemical agent sarin from militants detained on the border with Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"We are still waiting for comprehensive information from our Turkish colleagues in connection with the reports, made public more than a week ago, that militants found to be in possession of sarin were detained on Turkish territory," he said.

"We would like to shed light on all these questions because the issue of chemical weapons has become a focus of speculation and provocation.

"I do not rule out that someone would like to use it to declare that a red line has been crossed and foreign intervention is needed," the minister said.

US President Barack Obama said last summer that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would constitute a "red line" that would have "enormous consequences," a statement that was interpreted by many analysts as a threat to deploy US troops to Syria.

Turkish media reported last week that its special forces had found a cylinder containing the deadly nerve agent sarin after searching the homes of previously detained Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Nusra Front.

Last week, the UN Security Council added the group, which supports rebels fighting pro-government forces in Syria, to its global sanctions list.

Russia is widely regarded as an ally of President Bashar Al-Assad-led Syria.

An estimated 80,000 people have died since fighting broke out between government forces and rebels in March 2011.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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