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Diplomat slams US strike on Iraq as "the height of cynicism"

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that "Washington is not interested in the world’s response but in changing the balance of power in the region"

MOSCOW, January 3. /TASS/. The United States first carried out a missile strike against Baghdad airport and only then requested the UN Security Council’s assessment of the attack on the US Embassy in Iraq. This is the height of cynicism, Rusian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Friday.

"It turns out that a missile strike was carried out first, an act that is out of sync with international law was committed. And only then did they [the Americans] requested [the assessment of the events] involving the [US] Embassy. This is probably the height of cynicism, you know," she said.

Zakharova noted that it was the UN Security Council’s purview to make a legal assessment of attacks on countries’ embassies, adding that Washington had not requested an extraordinary UN Security Council meeting on the issue.

She thinks that the US missile strike in Baghdad will only result in escalating tensions in the region, while Washington itself is only interested in changing the balance of power in the Middle East.

"To condemn attacks on their embassies, states go to the UN Security Council submitting draft statements. Washington did not appeal to the Security Council, which means that it is not interested in the world’s response [and that it is] interested in changing the balance of power in the region."

"That will not result in anything but escalating tensions in the region, which will be sure to affect millions of people," she wrote on her Facebook page.

The diplomat noted that, over the past few years, the US has repeatedly blocked UN Security Council’s statements condemning attacks on other countries’ embassies. "There are quite a few examples," she stressed.

Russia does not rule out US Baghdad airport strike will be discussed by UN Security Council today, Zakharova noted. "Of course, I believe the issue will be discussed in New York today. I think work on the format will be in progress," she said.

The diplomat was certain that the issue would be addressed by international organizations, individual countries and politicians. "And, of course, it will not bypass the United Nations," Zakharova added.

The Pentagon earlier confirmed that a missile strike near the Baghdad airport killed the head of the Quds Force Qasem Soleimani. The operation was carried out at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the statement said.

The Quds Force is a unit in Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) that is actively involved in military conflicts in Syria and Iraq. It is believed that its successful operations were mainly attributable to its commander Qasem Soleimani. Washington earlier branded Soleimani as a terrorist.