UK & World News
Syria: Nato Defends Military Strikes Option
Nato's Secretary General says military options should remain "on the table" in negotiations with Syria.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Sky News that the "credible military threat" was the reason why diplomacy was now being given a chance.
"That is why I say the military option should still be on the table, because I think it can underpin a diplomatic and political process," said the Nato chief.
Mr Rasmussen has said he supports the UN weapons inspectors' report and told Sky he had "no doubt" that the Syrian regime was behind the August 21 attack.
He said he did not anticipate Nato intervening in the conflict unless one of its members, such as Turkey, was attacked.
Mr Rasmussen's words come as a Russian minister said the UN report was "biased" and that Syria had handed over new "materials" which it claims implicate rebels in the Damascus attack.
"The corresponding materials were handed to the Russian side," said Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov.
"We were told that they were evidence that the rebels are implicated in the chemical attack."
Speaking to Russia's state news agency RIA, Mr Ryabkov said Russia would be looking at the materials with "utmost seriousness".
UN weapons inspectors have also confirmed they will "soon" return to Syria to investigate various accusations against the regime and the rebels, according to chief inspector Aake Sellstroem.
The original UN report into the attack, which was published earlier this week, said chemical weapons had been used on a "relatively large scale".
It did not lay any blame for the atrocity, but the US, France and the UK all believe that the report shows the Syrian regime was responsible.
Mr Ryabkov said his country had serious reservations about the United Nations report into the August 21 attack.
"We are disappointed, to put it mildly, about the approach taken by the UN secretariat and the UN inspectors, who prepared the report selectively and incompletely," he said.
"Without receiving a full picture of what is happening here, it is impossible to call the nature of the conclusions reached by the UN experts ... anything but politicised, preconceived and one-sided."
The US believes more than 1,400 people were killed in the attack but some other estimates are lower. The Syrian regime maintains that rebel forces were to blame.