Russia has warned the US to exercise restraint as a group of Western countries looks set to “intervene” in the Syrian conflict.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told US Secretary of State John Kerry not to fall for “provocations” in a reference to the origin of the suspected nerve gas attack that killed hundreds last week.
Lavrov said on Monday any military intervention in Syria without a mandate from the United Nations would be a grave violation of international law.
He appealed to the United States and other Western powers to avoid “past mistakes” by intervening in Syria and said that it was an illusion to think that destroying Syrian military infrastructure would end the civil war there.
Turkey has made it clear that it would join any coalition against the Assad regime with or without UN approval.
France is also in favour of military action in Syria.
Speaking on French television, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said: “It is essential that the UN carries out an investigation that is transparent and fast so the truth can be established. Once the investigation has been completed we expect a firm decision from the international community. The Security Council and the international community cannot allow such crimes against humanity.”
As many as 37 countries are in talks over forming a coalition against Syria.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is being urged to recall the UK parliament from its summer break to discuss the issue.
President Obama is set to request the right to use force when Congress returns from recess next month.