Timeline of events in Syria crisis on Wednesday
Here is a recap of main events on Wednesday concerning Syria, which Britain, France and the United States now say used chemical weapons in attacks against civilians on August 21.
The regime of Bashar al-Assad has vowed to defend itself against the growing possibility of international military action.
-- WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28 --]
- Envoys from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States started talks on a British-drafted UN Security Council resolution to allow military action against President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said.
- The UN-Arab League special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said it was clear a chemical substance had been used in an August 21 attack near Damascus, killing hundreds of people.
Brahimi also said that any international military action in Syria must be approved by the UN Security Council.
- UN inspectors visited a second site on the outskirts of Damascus suspected of being hit by a chemical weapons attack.
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said UN inspectors needed four days to conclude their probe. He urged the divided UN Security Council to unite and bring peace to Syria.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron's office said that he and US President Barack Obama had no doubt that Assad's regime had used chemical weapons against its own people.
- The use of chemical weapons in Syria "cannot go unanswered", NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
- Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi warned that his country would become a "graveyard of the invaders" if there were a military intervention.
He also accused Western countries of "inventing" excuses to take military action.
- The Israeli cabinet authorised a partial call-up of army reservists amid growing expectations of a military strike, army radio reported.
- Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki dismissed military action as a "dead end" as he put his own country on high alert.
- Any military intervention by the United States against Syria will spell "disaster" for the region, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned.
- Opposition Islamists in Jordan warned of "dangerous repercussions" for the region.
- Russia warned that military strikes against Assad's regime could destabilise the entire Middle East, and again denied his government was behind the suspected attack.
- Russia evacuated its own citizens and nationals of other ex-Soviet states on two planes belonging to the emergencies ministry which flew from the Syrian port city of Latakia.
© 2013 AFP