Russian Federation 'severely condemns' joint strikes on Syria

Nellie Chapman
April 15, 2018

Syria has been attacked just as it had a chance for peace, Russia's Foreign Ministry said earlier, hours after US, British and French forces pounded Damascus with air strikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack last week.

The Security Council scheduled another emergency meeting at Russia's request.

"We continue to observe unsafe military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state", he said. A strike was carried out on the capital of a sovereign state, which for many years has been trying to survive under the threat of terror, ' Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"First the "Arab spring" tested the Syrian people, then Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria), now smart American rockets".

Zakharova also accused the United States and other mainstream media of inciting the attack, noting that the White House's decision to launch a strike was based on media reports, photo and video shared on the Internet and spread online.

The chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend was staged with the help of a foreign intelligence agency, Russia's foreign minister said on Friday as he warned the West against proposed military action.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to launch a missile attack on Syria over an alleged chemical weapon attack by the Syrian government, although the accusation was strongly denied by the latter.

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As fears of a Russia confrontation with Western powers mount, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" over the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The strike came about after Syrian forces cleared of terrorist groupings all of Eastern Ghouta, which had become stronghold of salafist militants with the backing of Washington, London and Paris.

"Our warnings have been left unheard", he said.

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", he added. Pierce said she wanted "to state categorically. that Britain has no involvement and would never have any involvement in the use of a chemical weapon". Both the Russian military and the Syrian government said they would facilitate the mission and ensure the inspectors' security.

The chairman of the worldwide affairs committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, said the strikes were a violation of worldwide law and probably created to prevent investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog from doing their work.

None of the air strikes hit zones where Russian air defence systems protect the Russian bases of Tartus and Hmeimim, Russian news agencies cited the Ministry of Defence as saying.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia insisted that there was "no credible confirmation of toxic substance use in Douma", adding that "we have information to believe that what took place is a provocation with the participation of certain countries' intelligence services".

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