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Russia Warns West Of 'Big War' In Syria

Russia has warned the West that its stance on Syria could aggravate the situation to the point of war, and said it will reject any U.N. Security Council peace enforcement resolution on Syria as it would be "nothing but intervention."

"Their [Western] position is most likely to exacerbate the situation, lead to further violence and ultimately a very big war," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Thursday.

The West has also distorted the Russian position on Syria by suggesting Moscow should offer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asylum. "This is either an unscrupulous attempt to mislead serious people who shape foreign policy or simply a misunderstanding of what is going on," Lavrov was quoted by Russian state media as saying.

He also said representatives of the Syrian Opposition groups would visit Moscow next week in the context of Russia's request to them to unite to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis.

According to the U.N., more than 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a revolt against the Assad regime 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 them, some 5,000 were government troops and Army defectors, the group said.

The U.N. 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.

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