US 'aggression' in Syria reinforces terrorists: Moscow

MOSCOW, Apr. 11 (MNA) – Washington's cruise missile strike on Syria leads to the reinforcement of terrorists, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The United States' missile strike on a military airfield in Syria is an act of aggression that violates international law and bolsters terrorists, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

"The recent US missile attack on the Sha'irat Syrian government forces airbase, representing an act of aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law, leads to the reinforcement of terrorists," the ministry said.

Last week, the US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Ash Sha’irat airbase in Homs province in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians in Idlib province on April 4.

"In this context, a reasonable question arises: does Washington plan to move to real cooperation with us in countering terrorism, including in Syria?" the Russian ministry asked.

The Syrian foreign minister denied the government’s involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it had never nor would it ever use chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on April 5 that the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun by the Syrian air force hit a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq, and called on the UN Security Council to launch a proper investigation into the incident

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on April 6 that groundless accusations in the chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib were unacceptable before the investigation into the matter had been carried out while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday criticized the US missile attack as a violation of the international law.

Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei described the US missile strike against the Syrian airfield as a strategic mistake.

The US missile attack claimed the lives of 10 people, an officer of the Syrian Armed Forces told Sputnik. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the attack left two Syrian servicemen missing, four killed, and six suffering severe injuries from the fire. Homs Governor Talal Barazi said on April 7 that at least two civilians from a nearby village and five Syrian servicemen were killed.

After the missile attack, the Russian Defense Ministry suspended a point-to-point communications link with the US military under the memorandum of understanding on de-confliction in Syria.

The ministry said the Russian air group in Syria was protected by S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense systems on a round-the-clock basis.


News Code 124719


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