VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that it would be "utter nonsense" for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons when it was winning the war, and urged U. S. President Barack Obama not to attack Syrian forces.

The United States said on Friday it was planning a limited military response to punish Syria's President Bashar al-Assad for a "brutal and flagrant" chemical weapons attack that it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus 10 days ago.

"That is why I am convinced that it (the chemical attack) is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict, and who want to win the support of powerful members of the international arena, especially the United States," Putin told journalists.

(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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