REUTERS (UK), THE NEW YORK TIMES (US), NHK (Japan), AP
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the West not to initiate military action in Syria on Tuesday, a day after U.S. President Obama notified the Syrian government that the deployment of chemical or biological weapons would prompt a U.S. intervention.
Prompted on the issue of weapons of mass destruction at a White House briefing on Monday, President Obama told reporters: "That's an issue that doesn't just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel. It concerns us. We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people."
The president said the U.S. would be forced to consider a military response if Bashar al-Assad crossed "a red line."
Mark Landler for the New York Times interpreted Obama's speech as a forewarning to Syria's neighbor Israel: "His comments seemed aimed as much at the Israelis as the Syrians [...] By hinting that the United States might participate in locating and neutralizing the weapons, Mr. Obama was clearly trying to forestall the possibility of an Israeli move into Syria — and the reaction it might provoke."
A Japanese journalist, Mika Yamamoto was killed in Aleppo on Monday, allegedly by government troops. Kazutaka Sato, her colleague at the freelance association Japan Press, told Japan's NHK broadcast service that they were accompanying rebel troops when they came under heavy gunfire from government soldiers.