Russia slams US coalition for targeting Syria’s chance for peace
Moscow has warned against US coalition strikes on Syria stressing that the attacks have in fact targeted the war-torn country’s chance for peace.
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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova took to Facebook to condemn the act of aggression, saying, “The capital of a sovereign government, trying for years to survive under terrorist aggression, has been attacked.”
“You have to be quite abnormal to attack Syria’s capital just at the moment when it had a chance for a peaceful future.”
Russia’s Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov also warned of the consequences of such military actions.
He was the first Russian official to react after Washington, Britain and France launched coordinated missile attacks against Syria over the alleged attack in the town of Douma in the city’s countryside in the early hours of Saturday.
“Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences,” he tweeted on Saturday.
“Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible,” he added. Vladimir Putin had outspokenly cautioned against an escalation as Washington and its allies were harping on about Damascus’ alleged use of chemical weapons.
Following an invitation from Damascus, inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are expected to arrive in Syria over the weekend to investigate the reported attack.
The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons during a process monitored by the OPCW in 2014.
“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented,” the Russian envoy said. Moscow had, time and again, warned in the lead-up to the US-led attacks that foreign-backed militants could stage chemical strikes in order to pin it on Damascus.
“The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries,” he added.
Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Konstantin Kosachyov, meanwhile, said the strikes were highly likely an attempt to hamper or block the OPCW’s mission.
He called the attacks an outrageous violation of international law and a groundless attack on a sovereign government.
The committee, meanwhile, said Russia would likely call a UN Security Council meeting over the attacks.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that none of the Western strikes had hit areas near Russia’s air and naval bases.
“Not one of the cruise missiles released by the US and its allies entered the zone of responsibility of Russian air defenses protecting facilities in Tartus and Hmeimim,” the ministry said in a statement carried by the RIA Novosti state news agency, referring to the locations of the Russian outposts.