Syria chemical attack sly rebel provocation: Putin

President Vladimir Putin says that Russia has strong grounds to believe that Syrian rebels were responsible for the country`s chemical attack.

Updated: Sep 19, 2013, 21:35 PM IST

Valdai: President Vladimir Putin says that Russia has strong grounds to believe that Syrian rebels were responsible for the country`s chemical attack.

Putin said today that "we have every reason to believe that it was a provocation, a sly and ingenious one." He added, however, that its perpetrators have relied on "primitive" technology, using old Soviet-made ammunition no longer used by the Syrian army.

The US, Britain, France and others believe that a report by UN inspectors has proven the attack was conducted by the Syrian military.

Putin expressed optimism when asked whether he trusts Syrian President Bashar Assad to fulfill Russia`s plan for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and avoid a US strike. He said Damascus` actions so far have given reason to believe the initiative will be implemented.

PTI