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US actions may ruin negotiating process on Syria — Russian diplomat

The missile strike against Syria’s military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by US warplanes and naval ships in cooperation with the British and French air forces on April 14

MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. The missile strike by the United States and other Western countries against Syria may ruin the negotiating process on the Syrian settlement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.

"A UN Security Council will be convened. Russia will provide not simply arguments. It will provide the proofs that the actions by the United States and its allies, which joined this terrible action, are illegal. It is terrible because by and large this may really ruin the negotiating process as this action [the missile strike against Syria] has sent a strong signal to extremists and militants that everything they are doing is ‘right,’" the Russian diplomat said.

"It turns out that this provocation with the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus, behind which were, of course, militants and extremists ‘on the ground,’ was supported by these countries, which delivered the strike. This is a huge factor of inspiring terrorists and militants ‘on the ground,’" the Russian diplomat pointed out.

Missile strike against Syria

According to data of Russia’s 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 United States, Britain and France said the strikes were in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Douma.

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

The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed that report as fake news. The Defense Ministry added that the White Helmets were notorious for spreading falsehoods.

Representatives of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides held a probe in Douma on April 9 but found no traces of chemical weapons use. On April 10, Damascus sent an official invitation to the OPCW to visit Eastern Ghouta. On the same day, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said the organization had made a decision to send its experts to Syria.

OPCW experts were due to begin their probe at the scene of the alleged chemical attack on Saturday.