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‘Smart missiles’ should hit terrorists, not legitimate government — Russian diplomat

April 11, 15:19 UTC+3

The United States’ hypothetical missile strike against Syria may destroy evidence related with the alleged use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta, Zakharova warns

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. "Smart missiles" should fly towards terrorists and not the legitimate government, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page commenting on US President Donald Trump’s tweet that Russia should be ready to shoot down missiles fired at Syria.

"Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not the legitimate government which has been fighting against international terrorism in its territory for several years," Zakharova said.

The United States’ hypothetical missile strike against Syria may destroy evidence related with the alleged use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta, Zakharova said. "Have the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) inspectors been warned smart missiles will eliminate all alleged chemical weapons-related evidence on the ground?" she said. "Or is the real purpose to promptly eliminate the traces of a provocation using smart missile strikes to create a situation where international inspectors will have no evidence to look for?"

Washington’s threats

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said that Washington had "a lot of options militarily" on Syria, adding that a decision would be made in 24 to 48 hours.

A number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets, allege that a chemical weapons attack took place in Eastern Ghouta’s town of Douma on April 7. In their April 8 statement, the White Helmets claimed that the attack had particularly involved chlorine-filled bombs. According to the White Helmets, dozens died in the attack, while 500 people "reached the medical centers with symptoms of exposure to chemicals."

The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the statement as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they 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.

Russian officials have warned many times about upcoming provocations and staged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

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