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Russia’s Defense Ministry concerned over reports about call on Obama to strike Syrian army

June 17, 14:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian Defense Ministry has commented on alleged calls for the US to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry is concerned over media reports claiming that officials of the US Department of State have called on the Obama administration to start bombing the Syrian army’s positions, official spokesman for the ministry Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.

"If these reports have at least a touch of truth, and such important issues in the US State Department are indeed solved by the vote of the ‘workforce’ then this cannot but arouse concern of any man of sense," Konashenkov said.

"The most important issue is who will then bear responsibility for these bombings. Will this be the majority of the State Department’s ‘workforce’? Or we will be again the witnesses of the well-known Hollywood smile as was in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya," the spokesman said.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that "more than 50 State Department diplomats have signed an internal memo sharply critical of the Obama administration’s policy in Syria, urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad to stop its persistent violations of a cease-fire in the country’s five-year-old civil war."

The New York Times confirmed the information saying that "dozens of State Department officials this week protested against US policy in Syria, signing an internal document that calls for targeted military strikes against the Damascus government and urging regime change as the only way to defeat Islamic State." "The ‘dissent channel cable’ was signed by 51 State Department officers involved with advising on Syria policy in various capacities, according to an official familiar with the document," NYT added.

Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said liquidating the regime of President Bashar Assad in Syria can make the region plunge into chaos and will not help in the fight against terrorism.

Commenting on the reports, Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that no military scenario for resolving the Syrian issue is considered. "Only peaceful path, only political dialogue - only these approaches," she said. Zakharova voiced hope that "those mistakes that were made by US and all illegal coalitions in Iraq and in other places on regime change, on military solution, on absence of professional approach toward resolving the conflict - they will not be forgotten after all."

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