- Russia warns of ‘consequences’
United States, supported by France and the United Kingdom on Saturday morning launched several coordinated missiles into Syria, targeting facilities suspected to be used in producing chemical weapons.
The airstrikes came after Russia and Iran warned against it, threatening to retaliate if US and its allies carry out any strike in Syria.
Reacting to the strikes, Russian Ambassador to the United Nation, Anatoly Antonov on Twitter warned of “consequences” for the US-led military strikes on its ally Syria, saying the strikes on chemical weapons assets were an insult to Vladimir Putin.
“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.”
He added: “Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible. The US – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.”
Since it entered the Syrian war on the side of Bashar al-Assad, the Russian leader has been crucial to the survival of Syria’s President. Barely two years ago, it seemed that Mr. Assad’s survival was under threat, as his forces were stretched thin by anti-government rebels and Isis fighters.
Russia’s provision of troops and air support, has meant Assad’s forces have been able to regain control of large swathes of the country, undermining the energy of rebels who believed he was on the way out.
Putin has repeatedly denied that Syria has used chemical weapons in its battle against anti-government forces.
This week, Russia’s military says its personnel in the Syrian city allegedly hit by a chemical weapons attack had not found evidence to support the claim, the Associated Press said.
Maj Gen Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian centre for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, said on Friday:
“According to the results of a survey of witnesses, studying samples and investigating locations undertaken by Russian specialists and medical personnel in the city of Douma, where chemical weapons purportedly were used, the use of poisonous substances was not shown.”
Russia’s UN Ambassador said on Friday the United States appeared to have adopted a policy to ”unleash a military scenario against Syria”, saying Moscow continues to observe “dangerous” military preparations.
Vassily Nebenzia told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday that “bellicose rhetoric is being ratcheted up at all levels, including at the highest levels”.
He said these developments “cannot be tolerated” and are “fraught with grave repercussions for global security”.