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Russia’s senate speaker slams US strike in Syria as ‘blow' to Moscow-Washington ties

April 07, 2017, 16:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian top lawmaker stresses the US missile strike against Syria’s airbase was a flagrant violation of international law

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© Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP

MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. The US missile strike against Syria has created new problems on the way towards consolidating peace. Washington’s actions run counter to the interests of the fight against international terrorism, Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament), Valentina Matviyenko, told reporters on Friday.

"What happened overnight to April 7 (the US missile strike in Syria’s Homs province - TASS) is also a blow to the Russian-American relations. Taking into account the key importance for global security, the missile strike was a step that created new problems on the way towards strengthening peace and cooperation. In light of this, I believe Washington’s actions against sovereign Syria run counter to the interests of the fight against international terrorism," the Federation Council’s press service quotes her as saying.

"By carrying out a missile attack on the Syrian air base, the United States blatantly violated international law. This is nothing but an act of aggression against a sovereign state," the Federation Council’s press service quoted Matviyenko as saying. "Instead of trying to help the global community join efforts to fight terrorism, Washington targeted the Syrian army which has not only been on the forefront of the war on terror but has been achieving significant results," the Russian senator noted.

According to Matviyenko, the US carried out the aggression under a false pretext. "The first thing that the global community should have done after reports came about an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, is conducting a thorough probe on the ground, involving the UN bodies. Collective retaliatory measures could only be taken after establishing those responsible. But now it seems that they have just come across a pretext to topple Syria’s legitimate government," Matviyenko said.

She added that Washington had been very well aware that the Syrian army did not have chemical weapons as the country’s chemical weapons stockpiles had been destroyed under international control in accordance with international agreements. "So one comes to the conclusion that the missile attack actually aimed at distracting the world’s attention from what the US air force and their allies have been doing in Mosul, where hundreds of civilians have been killed," the Russian senate speaker concluded.

Matviyenko added that the US missile strike against Syria’s airbase was a flagrant violation of international law.

The US military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a military airfield in Syria’s Homs province overnight to Friday under instructions issued by President Donald Trump. The strike came in response to what Washington believes was the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons in the Idlib province. The Pentagon said the alleged chemical attack was launched from this airfield.

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