Saturday, April 8, 2017
Lavrov to Tillerson: US Attack in Syria Plays Into Terrorists' Hands
© Sputnik/ Evgeny Biyatov
Russian Foreign Minister told his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in a phone conversation that the US attack on Syrian army's airfield plays into the hands of terrorists, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian and US top diplomats discussed the US missile attack in Syria.
Only terrorists will benefit from the US strikes on the Syrian airbase, Lavrov told Tillerson.
"Sergei Lavrov emphasized that an attack on a country whose government is fighting against terrorism is only playing into extremists' hands and creating additional threats for regional and global security," the statement by the Russian ministry read.
Lavrov stressed that reports of use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government in Idlib are false. Lavrov added that it is necessary to conduct a throrough, impartial investigation into the Idlib chemical attack.
"It was noted that it is necessary to conduct a thorough and professional investigation into facts concerning all this situation [the Idlib chemical attack]."
Lavrov and Tillerson agreed to continue the discussion of the Syrian settlement during a personal meeting next week during US Secretary's of State visit to Moscow.
On Thursday night, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on the Syrian government.
A number of states, including Australia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom have already expressed their support for the attack, while Russia called the US actions in Syria an aggression against a sovereign state based on an unjustified reason.
On April 4, Syrian opposition claimed Tuesday forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used a chemical gas on people in the northwestern province, killing nearly 80 and injuring 200. Assad argued his government has no chemical weapons after agreeing to have them destroyed in 2013. He also ruled out having used chemicals against own people.
Earlier on Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Pentagon and the US State Department have failed to prove the existence of chemical weapons at the Syrian airfield struck by US cruise missiles.