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The Pentagon strikes back, says Putin is wrong on Syria gas attack

The Pentagon issued Thursday a strong rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin's op-ed in the New York Times, which lectured the U.S. on the use of the force and working through the U.N. to resolve international conflicts.

"President Putin has invested his credibility in transferring [Syrian dictator Bashir Assad's] chemical weapons to international control and ultimately destroying them. The world will note whether Russia can follow through on that commitment," said Pentagon press secretary George Little.

"Russia is isolated and alone in blaming the opposition. We've seen no credible reporting the opposition has used chemical weapons in Syria," Mr. Little said in response to Mr. Putin's allegation that rebels used chemical weapons to provoke "their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists."

In addition to intelligence showing the regime's preparations for the attack and post-attack observations, "it's common sense" that the opposition does not have the capabilities to have carried out such a large-scale attack, the Pentagon spokesman said.

"We've been joined by more than 30 other countries in declaring the Assad regime is responsible for the use of chemical weapons on August 21st. The evidence clearly points directly to the Assad regime's responsibility," Mr. Little said.

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