Russia says it has voiced alarm over signs that the US may conduct a new military attack against Syria, warning Washington against any such “baseless and unlawful aggression” under the pretext of punishing Damascus for a possible false-flag gas attack.
The Russia embassy in the US said in a posting on its Facebook page on Thursday that Moscow’s Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov had issued the warning during a meeting earlier this week with US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James F. Jeffrey and Acting Assistant Secretary David Satterfield.
Antonov said he had officially conveyed Russia’s concerns to the American officials over reports that Washington, along with London and Paris, is gearing up for another strike on Syria.
The Russian envoy also stressed that he had called on the US to immediately provide facts to substantiate its allegations that Damascus is using chemical weapons.
“The main thing is that we expressed our concerns about American signals of preparing new strikes on Syria on the pretext of possible use of ‘chemical weapons’ by Syrians,” he said. “We stressed that such a prospect is of grave concern for us. We called Washington to provide undelayed facts on the reasons why the topic with the use of chemical weapons by Damascus is further fueled.”
Washington’s rhetoric, he added, may prompt terrorist groups and “pseudo-humanitarian” organizations operating in Syria to carry out a chemical attack in militant-held Idlib Province and pin the blame on the Damascus government.
Antonov also stressed that a possible provocation by the Jabhat al-Nusra terror outfit “with the active participation of the British intelligence forces can serve as a pretext for the Western ‘troika’ (the US, Britain and France) to launch another airstrike against Syrian military and civil infrastructure.”
“We warned the US not to engage in another baseless and unlawful aggression against Syria. The new aggravation in Syria would not be in anyone’s national interest and only terrorist would benefit from it. We expect our concerns to be heard. We hope that the US will take all possible efforts to prevent the use of toxic agents by terrorists and will act responsibly, like a permanent member of the UN Security Council,” he pointed out.