23:25 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Moscow Warns West of ‘Big War’ in Syria

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Moscow lashed out on Thursday at the Western position on Syria, saying it could aggravate the situation to the point of war.

Moscow lashed out on Thursday at the Western position on Syria, saying it could aggravate the situation to the point of war.

“Their [Western] position is most likely to exacerbate the situation, lead to further violence and ultimately a very big war,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The West has also distorted the Russian position on Syria by suggesting Moscow should offer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asylum, he said.

“This is either an unscrupulous attempt to mislead serious people who shape foreign policy or simply a misunderstanding of what is going on,” Lavrov said.

He also warned that Russia will reject any UN Security Council peace enforcement resolution on Syria, since that would be “nothing but intervention.”

The minister also said representatives of the Syrian opposition will visit Moscow next week.

On Wednesday, Moscow urged Syrian opposition groups to unite to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis.

The UN estimated in May that some 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based organization with a network of activists in Syria, revised the death toll to 16,500 on Monday. Of those, some 5,000 were government troops and army defectors, the group said. June had been the bloodiest month of the conflict so far, with around 100 deaths every day, it said.

The UN Security Council has so far failed to find a way to settle the conflict. Russia and China have refused to support any plans for outside interference in Syria.