- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2013

A leader of the Free Syrian Army said Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to deceive the international community into thinking it was someone other than the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad who launched a chemical weapons attack that killed more than a thousand people last month.

“I am very sorry to tell you that President Putin is lying and he was lying since beginning of the revolution in Syria,” Salim Idris told Fox News. “He knows exactly that the regime is killing our citizens. He knows that the regime is killing the Syrians and using Russia weapons and ammunition and Russian jets.”

Russian leaders have insisted that the rebel forces launched the chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on Aug. 21 that U.S. intelligence officials say killed more than 1,400 people in hopes of provoking an international response against Mr. Assad.

President Obama has blamed the Assad regime and is trying to rally international support for a response. He also is lobbying members of Congress to vote for a resolution that would give him 90 days to carry out a limited strike against Syria and that would push him to give more support to the rebel forces fighting the Assad government in the bloody civil war.