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Russia to take tit-for-tat steps should US strike Syria, senior MP warns

Israel earlier launched a strike without notifying Russia through the channels of the Russian General Staff or the Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, April 10. /TASS/. Russia will take all political, diplomatic and military retaliatory measures if necessary should the United States deliver a strike on Syria, Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee Chairman and former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Airborne Troops Vladimir Shamanov said on Tuesday.

"The politics of double standards have hit rock bottom. And here the United Russia party conscientiously states that all political, diplomatic and military measures if necessary will be taken. No illegal action will remain unanswered," Shamanov vowed at a plenary meeting of the State Duma.

The senior MP was indignant over US President Donald Trump’s statement about Washington’s response within 48 hours, saying: "They should not pin their hopes on their naval task forces and their deceptions. We are a sovereign country and we have allies and guarantors for those events taking place in Syria. We won’t let the Americans hammer nails on someone else’s anvil."

Shamanov stressed that Russia's possible measures need to be considered and responsible. He also emphasized that the report on the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma is absolute provocation.

"Today military chemists have confirmed in the presence of members of Syria’s administration that no traces were found in the hospital where these fakes were made, and no victims have been confirmed and discovered," he noted.

The lawmaker said the number of countries taking part in the Syrian conflict has increased. "In total violation of international rules, a couple of Israeli jets entered Lebanese airspace, delivered a strike on a neighboring sovereign country…directly on an airfield of the Syrian army. So, the number of countries involved in the conflict is rising."

Israel launched the strike without notifying Russia through the channels of the Russian General Staff or the Foreign Ministry, he said.

Syrian crisis

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he would make a decision on how Washington would respond to the suspected chemical attack in Syria’s Douma in 24 to 48 hours.

On April 7, a number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, alleged that chemical weapons were used in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital. According to the statement published on the organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs had been dropped on the locality, killing dozens and poisoning many locals who had to be brought to the hospital.

On Sunday, the Russian Foreign Ministry rejected Saturday’s reports as fake news regarding the alleged chemical attack carried out by the Syrian government forces in Douma near Damascus. Allegations about the use of chemical agents by Syrian state forces are aimed at justifying external military strikes, the ministry said.

Two F-15 aircraft from the Israeli Air Force delivered a strike with eight missiles against Syria’s T-4 airfield in the Homs province on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The Syrian air defenses destroyed five of the eight launched missiles, while the remaining three managed to hit the western part of the airfield. No Russian advisers are among the casualties.

Syria blamed Israel for the missile strike on the military airfield.