MOSCOW — Russia dramatically escalated its denunciations of American threats to attack Syrian military targets on Saturday, with President Vladimir Putin saying it would have been ‘‘utter nonsense’’ for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons as the Obama administration alleges.
The Foreign Ministry, in a statement issued before President Obama said he would seek congressional authorization before ordering strikes on Syria, said a US attack would be a ‘‘gross violation’’ of international law.
Speaking out for the first time since an apparent chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, Putin called on Obama to find a nonviolent way out of the crisis. ‘‘Before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future casualties,’’ Putin said. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.