BEIJING, April 24. /TASS/. The US-led air strikes on Syria were a violation of all the international rules, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission General Xu Qiliang on Tuesday.
"I am grateful to you for the support you have provided to us at the United Nations Security Council meeting dedicated to the missile attack on Syria. It undoubtedly was a violation of all the international and humanitarian rules," Shoigu said.
According to him, the strikes were carried out "in the West’s signature style - they implemented a punishment without conducting an investigation." "I would also like to thank our friend China for supporting us on the Syria issue and condemning the irresponsible behavior of some western countries that carried out a military attack on a sovereign state under a false pretense," the Russian defense minister added.
Shoigu said he was pleased to meet with Xu Qiliang once again, noting that their first meeting had taken place in 2013. "We have been able to lay serious groundwork that continues to prove helpful," he said.
"Time changes everything but fortunately it can change neither our personal relations nor relations between our countries," Shoigu stressed.
He was hopeful that Tuesday’s meeting would provide the parties with the opportunity to discuss the most pressing security issues.
On April 14, the United States, in coordination with the United Kingdom and France, launched missile strikes on Syria’s military and civilian infrastructure facilities. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian air defenses managed to shoot down 71 out of 103 missiles.
Washington, London and Paris claimed the strikes to be a response to a chemical weapons attack, which had allegedly happened in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7. Reports about the incident had been spread by a number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets.
The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed those allegations as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were known for spreading fabricated news.
On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria visited Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons. On April 10, a decision was made to send OPCW experts to Douma to assess the situation on the ground and collect information about the alleged chemical incident.