Russian FM: "US strike on Syria may spur Nuclear Disaster"

Russian foreign ministry has warned that a military strike against Syria may lead to a nuclear disaster if a small reactor near capital Damascus is hit.

"If a warhead, by design or by chance, were to hit the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus, the consequences could be catastrophic," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich is a Wednesday statement cited in a RT report.

The development comes as the US still insist on waging military action against the Arab nation despite a growing global opposition to such moves.

Russian foreign ministry further called on UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conduct a risk evaluation as the administration of US President Barack Obama continues to seek support for military measures against the Syrian nation.

It asked the agency to “react swiftly” and carry out “an analysis of the risks linked to possible American strikes on the MNSR and other facilities in Syria,” the report adds.

Lukashevich is further cited in the report as emphasizing that the region may be at risk of “contamination by highly enriched uranium and it would no longer be possible to account for nuclear material, its safety and control.”
IAEA, meanwhile, said in a report to member states last week that Syria had declared there was a “small amount of nuclear material” at the MNSR, a type of research reactor usually fuelled by highly enriched uranium.

The agency further announced that it will not conduct a risk evaluation until it receives a formal request to do so, according to press reports.

The is while US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee voted on Wednesday to approve Obama administration's plan to wage military action against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, an accusation fiercely denied by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

If both house of Congress vote to approve Obama’s war plan, the US could soon initiate a military strike on Syria.

The development comes while UN experts are still investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria and Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized that Moscow needs convincing evidence and not rumors from UN experts that chemical arms were indeed used by government forces.

“We believe that at the very least we should wait for the results of the UN inspection commission in Syria,” Putin said in a recent interview.

The rhetoric of war against Syria first gained momentum on August 21, when the militants operating inside the Middle Eastern country and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.

Damascus categorically rejected the accusation.

Nevertheless, a number of Western countries, particularly the US, France, and the UK, hastily began a publicity campaign to promote military action against the Syrian nation.