UK & World News
Syrian Letter Pleads With US Not To Attack
The Syrian government has written to US Congress, warning members against supporting "irresponsible, reckless action" that it claims will injure innocent civilians.
The letter, seen by Sky News, urges Congress to "communicate with us through civilised dialogue rather than the language of fire and blood".
It was sent just days before members are due to vote on whether to approve the use of military force in Syria.
The US holds Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime responsible for a chemical attack last month, in which it estimates more than 1,400 people were killed.
"We write to you as fathers and mothers, as members of families and communities which really are not so different to yours," the Syrian letter states.
"Moreover, we write to you as human beings asking: if you bomb us, shall we not bleed? Innocent people will be harmed."
The five-page letter, which references quotes from former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, claims an attack could trigger a "bloody, destructive, catastrophic" conflict.
It continues: "Logically, what is the benefit of the Syrian government to commit a chemical attack during the visit of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria within less than four miles from the Commission's residence at the Four Seasons Hotel (in Damascus)?
"For that reason, we urge you to come to Syria, to send a delegation as soon as you can, to see and discover for yourselves what is going on here.
"We invite you to come to Syria to measure the situation before you cut, especially when the cloth that will be cut is human flesh."
The document, sent to John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, uses similar language to letters sent to British MPs and French politicians in recent weeks.
It mentions the British decision not to support military action and says MPs "took the responsibility to exhaust all avenues of diplomacy before involving their nation in a war".
That letter, received by Commons Speaker John Bercow on August 29, asked: "Before you rush over the cliffs of war, would it not be wise to pause?"
:: Read the full letter to US Congress from the Syrian government