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Russia calls on West to think twice before launching strikes on Syria

Russia's UN envoy warns against a military scenario in Syria

UNITED NATIONS, April 13. /TASS/. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya has called on the United States and other Western countries looking at a possible strike on Syria to think twice and stop driving the world to a red line.

"The situation is developing under a dangerous scenario, which is fraught with serious consequences to global security. In such an event, the entire responsibility will rest on the United States and its allies," he said. "We call on the leaders of these states to wise us, get back to the frames of international law and stop driving the world to a red line."

The Russian diplomat warned that negative developments around Syria are "fraught with global consequences."

The United States, in his words, has embarked on a path of unfolding a military scenario in Syria. "It is inadmissible," he underscored.

Russia has information that leaders of armed groups in Syria have been ordered to launch an offensive at the government troops’ positions as soon as the United States and its allies deliver airstrike on that country, he went on. 

"Who is going to benefit from a possible airstrike on the Syrian military who carry the bulk of the burden of fighting terrorism and who have achieved serious victories on this track? We know it for sure that leaders of Syrian armed groups have been ordered to launch an offensive after a possible strike," he said.

The United Nations Security Council met on Friday for an extraordinary session to discuss the situation in the Middle East amid the US’ threats of an airstrike on Syria following reports about alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma on April 7.

Prior to the meeting, US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley said that her country, the United Kingdom and France had conducted a separate analysis of the incident to arrive at the conclusion that Douma had suffered from a chemical attack.

The Russian diplomat however stressed that there were no "reliable evidence" of any chemical attack. "Our specialists found no traces of the use of toxic agents. Douma’s residents know nothing about the attack. All information about the alleged attack comes from anti-government forces that are interested in such development of the situation," Nebenzya said, adding that Russia has evidence indicating that "it was a provocation involving secret services of a number of countries." He said that Russia had information that militant leaders had been ordered to launch an offensive as soon as the United States and its allies delivered strikes.

He warned that in case of the negative development of the situation in Syria the West "will have to be held responsible like for the previous interventions that plunged a number of countries in a turmoil of crisis entailing incalculable casualties." He recalled that several years ago the United States and its alliance had managed to have the United Nations Security Council authorize intervention to Iraq under a false pretext of Saddam Hussein’s having weapons of mass destruction. He also recalled the military operation in Libya under a pretext of protecting civilians from bombings by the Muammar Gaddafi regime.

"We have the recent experience of Ira and Libya before our eyes. Among other things, it demonstrates the American partners’ purely consumer attitude to the Security Council. They need it as a cover for Iraqi test tubes and Libya’s no-flight zone. And now, you are showing as yet another virtual empty ‘test tube,’" Nebenzya said.

"The United States’ irresponsible behavior, its infringing on international law and sovereignty of states, is unworthy of a status of the United Nations Security Council permanent member," he stressed, adding that such status meant "the highest responsibility rather than the right to brandish a stick, which is absent from the international code of conduct."

The US and its allies will have to engage in an unpleasant conversation about militants trapped in Syria’s Al-Fuah and Kafriya after their "bearded pets" have been withdrawn from Eastern Ghouta as a result of tough talks involving Russia, he added. 

"You are sad to see your bearded pets on a free tourist trip of Syria. You have lost the opportunity to wail from the rooftops about hundreds of people suffering in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region. Now they need help in restoring normal life but you are not interested in that because this area is now under the government’s control," the Russian envoy said, addressing the Western member states of the UN Security Council.

"Now you will have to engage in an unpleasant conversation about the blockade of Al-Fuah and Kafriya," Nebenzya went on to say. "When was the last time a humanitarian convoy was sent there? When did you last make inquiries? You will also have to answer for the US-led coalition’s destruction of Raqqa," he noted.

According to Nebenzya, militants and their families were safely withdrawn from Eastern Ghouta. "Civilians were finally liberated from the years-long reign of terror - and their pure joy is worth seeing. There are videos. Only your media do not show them," the senior Russian diplomat noted.

He pointed out that the Western countries "were not interested in the fate of the Syrian government’s supporters who had been captured and held by militants in Eastern Ghouta." "While bargaining the prisoner swap with authorities, militants claimed to have two to four thousand of captives. But now it turns out the number is much smaller. Many died from harsh treatment and hard labor, as they were digging huge tunnels at their torturers’ orders," the Russian envoy said.