Senate Foreign Relations Committee members may have agreed to a draft resolution on U.S. military action against Syria, but over in Russia, President Vladimir Putin isn't convinced.
In a rare interview with the Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television, Putin said the recent images and videos that have surfaced of chemical weapon usage in Syria do not prove that the regime of Bashar al-Assad is responsible.
"These are horrible pictures," Putin told the AP. "The question is only who did it and what they did, and who is responsible for this. These pictures do not answer the questions I have just posed. There is an opinion that it's a compilation by these very rebels, who are connected with al-Qaida and who were always distinguished by exceptional brutality."
Though the President remains skeptical, he stopped short of saying that Russia would rule out military action against Syria.
"I do not exclude this, but I would like to draw your attention to one absolutely key aspect: In line with international law, only the U.N. Security Council can sanction the use of force against a sovereign state," Putin said. "Any other pretext or method which might be used to justify the use of force against an independent sovereign state is inadmissible and can only be interpreted as an aggression."
Putin issued a cryptic warning to the U.S. if it were to act without approval from the United Nations.
"We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise," Putin said. "We have our plans."
Joining The Takeaway to discuss Putin's warning is David Herszenhorn, reporter for our partner The New York Times.