MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Russia is convening an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the actions by the United States and its allies, which carried out missile strikes on Syria on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"On April 14, the US backed by its allies carried out a missile strike against military and civilian infrastructure facilities in Syria. Without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, in defiance of the UN Charter, norms and principles and international law, an act of aggression has been committed against a sovereign state, which is at the forefront of the war on terror," the Kremlin press service quotes Putin as saying.
"Russia is convening an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the aggressive actions by the US and its allies," the president said.
The Russian leader noted that the US, just like a year ago, when it attacked Shayrat Airbase, used a staged chemical attack against civilians as a pretext. "The Russian military experts who visited the site of the alleged incident found no traces of the use of chlorine or other chemical agents. Not a single local resident confirmed that a chemical attack had taken place," the president emphasized.
Putin also noted that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had dispatched its specialists to Syria to clarify all the circumstances. "However, a group of Western countries cynically ignored that conducting a military operation without waiting for the results of the investigation. Russia strongly condemns the attack on Syria where Russian servicemen are helping the legitimate government in the war on terrorism," the president stressed.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile strike against Syria’s military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by US planes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday.
The ministry reported that a total of 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles had been fired (while 59 missiles were fired at Shayrat Airbase last year), most of them were shot down by Syria’s air defense units while approaching the targets.
The United States, Britain and France said the strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Douma.
A number of non-governmental organizations, including the White Helmets, earlier alleged chemical weapons had been used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, on April 7. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed these reports as fake news. The Defense Ministry added that the White Helmets was notorious for spreading falsehoods.
On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria visited Douma but found no trace of chemical weapons there.
Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were to begin work there on Saturday.