WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the use of chemical weapons in attacks on civilians in Syria last week was undeniable and that the Obama administration would hold the Syrian government accountable for a “moral obscenity
Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria.
The revelations come amid high tension in the Middle East, with US, British, and French warships poised for missile strikes against Syria, and Iran threatening to retaliate. The strategic jitters pushed Brent crude prices to a five-month high of $US112 a barrel.
Prince Bandar, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria.
‘Libya is reverting to war lordism. Nigeria is drifting into a bandit state with steady loss of output. And Iraq is going back to the sort of Sunni-Shia civil war we saw in 2006-07,’’ he said.
The Putin-Bandar meeting took place three weeks ago. Mr Putin was unmoved by the Saudi offer.
‘‘We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters,’’ he said, referring to footage showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier.