MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The consequences of a new US strike on Syria, the possibility of which was stated in the UN Security Council by United States Permanent Representative Nikki Haley, will be very serious, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"If a new strike of this kind takes place, the consequences will be very serious," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.
"Mrs. Haley should understand that it is one thing to irresponsibly exploit the microphone in the UN Security Council and it is another thing when both the Russian and American militaries have communication channels and it is clearly stated via these channels what can be done and what must not be done," Lavrov said.
"The US-led coalition knows well about that," the Russian foreign minister said.
"When, against the backdrop of an obvious failure to implement resolution 2401, in as much as it concerns militants and their sponsoring West, new resolutions are put forward under the pretext that it is Russia, Iran and the Syrian government that have failed to provide for the requirements of the previous resolution while Mrs. Haley makes a statement that the US is, of course, a peaceful nation but it may at any time deliver a strike against the forces in the Syrian Arab Republic, as they did a year ago by striking the Shayrat airbase, I simply don’t have any normal terms left to describe all this," Lavrov pointed out.
US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley said at a UN Security Council meeting on March 12 that Washington was ready to deliver a strike on Syria again, if the UN proved unable to secure the ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.
Chief of Russia’s General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday that the Russian Defense Ministry is ready to take retaliatory measures against US’ possible strike over Damascus if there is any danger to the Russian military there.
Moscow does not think it is expedient at this stage to discuss an increase in the number of de-escalation zones in Syria, according to Lavrov.
"I do not think that we should seek to increase their number and expand their area. The most important thing now is to make sure that they are operating in the agreed regime, primarily in the ceasefire regime," the minister noted.
According to Lavrov, the de-escalation zones will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers in Astana on March 16.
"The most crucial task now is to prevent the continuation of blatant violations of this regime in Eastern Ghouta," the minister added.
Last September, Russia, Iran and Turkey acting as the guarantors of the Astana process declared four de-escalation zones in Syria had been agreed: in the southwest of the country, in Eastern Ghouta (a Damascus suburb) and near the city of Homs. The fourth zone embraces the Idlib province and parts of the neighboring provinces of Aleppo, Latakia and Hama.