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Moscow suspends US-Russian memorandum on flight safety over Syria

The Russian Foreign Ministry calls for urgent UN Security Council meeting to discuss aftermath of US missile strike on Syrian base

MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. Russia suspends the Memorandum on preventing incidents and ensuring flights safety during operations in Syria earlier signed with the United States in the wake of the US strike on the Syrian airbase, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Friday.

"The Russian side suspends the memorandum on the prevention of incidents and on ensuring the safety of flights in the course of operations in Syria, concluded with the United States," the statement runs. "We urge the United Nations Security Council to meet in urgent session to discuss the current situation."

The United States last night carried out an attack against Syrian government troops using the chemical incident in Idlib province as a pretext.

"It is obvious that the strike with US cruise missiles had been prepared beforehand," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "It is clear to any specialist that the decision to deal the strikes was made in Washington before the events in Idlib, which were used as a pretext for a show of muscle. It is beyond doubt that the US military strike is an attempt to distract attention from the situation in Mosul, where as a result of actions by the US coalition hundreds of civilians died and the humanitarian disaster is growing."

Without taking the trouble to look into the situation the United States opted for the show of muscle, for military resistance to a country that fights against international terrorism," the Foreign Ministry said. "This is not the first time that the United States takes such a reckless approach, which merely exacerbates the world’s problems and poses a threat to international security."

The Russian Foreign Ministry has more than once declared its readiness for cooperation in tackling burning problems of today, including the struggle against international terrorism.

"But we will never agree to illegitimate actions against the legal Syrian authorities, who have for a long time been involved in irreconcilable war on international terrorism," the statement runs.

"In its attempts to excuse the military strike Washington utterly distorted the events in Idlib," the Foreign Ministry said. "The US side cannot but be aware that Syria’s government forces did not use chemical weapons there. Damascus does not have any, which has more than once been confirmed by competent specialists. The corresponding conclusions were made by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which over the past years has inspected practically all facilities that had or might have been involved in Syria’s chemical weapons program. As for Idlib, terrorists there were making bombs stuffed with poisonous chemicals for their subsequent use in Syria and Iraq. That facility was eliminated by the Syrian Air Force."

"We’re urging the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the current situation," the ministry said.

The US strike in Syria is an attempt to distract attention from the situation in Iraq’s Mosul, the statement said. 

"Undoubtedly, the US strike is an attempt to divert attention from the situation in Mosul where hundreds of civilians lost their lives due to actions, including by the US-led coalition, and the humanitarian disaster is mounting ," the ministry said.

"Apparently, the US cruise missile strike was prepared in advance," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "It is clear to any specialist that a decision on carrying out the strikes was made in Washington prior to the developments in Idlib, which were just used as a pretext for demonstrating strength."