News ID: 211621
Published: 0317 GMT March 13, 2018

Russia 'will respond if US strikes Syria'

Russia 'will respond if US strikes Syria'

The Russian military has threatened action against the US is it strikes Syria's capital city of Damascus, according to multiple news reports.

The threat, by Chief of Russia's General Staff Valery Gerasimov, was widely reported by Russia media sites such as state news agency RIA and Tass. Gerasimov said Russia had "reliable information" about terrorists preparing to falsify a government chemical attack against civilians, CNBC wrote.

He continued by saying the US would then use this attack to accuse Syrian government troops of using chemical weapons. He added that the US would then plan to launch a missile strike on government districts in Damascus.

"In several districts of Eastern Ghouta, a crowd was assembled with women, children and old people, brought from other regions, who were to represent the victims of the chemical incident,” Gerasimov said.

Gerasimov said Russia would respond to a US strike on Syria if the lives of Russian servicemen were threatened, targeting any missiles and launchers involved.

The comments came after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Monday that Washington “remains prepared to act if we must,” if the UN Security Council fails to act on Syria.

The United States asked the Security Council to demand an immediate 30-day cease-fire in Damascus and terrorist-held Eastern Ghouta, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are targeting “terrorist” groups which are shelling the capital.

The army’s onslaught in Eastern Ghouta, backed by air and artillery strikes, began on Feb. 18 in order to crush the last big terrorist stronghold near the capital Damascus.

The United States bombed a Syrian government airbase last year after a deadly chemical weapons attack.

The Security Council demanded a 30-day cease-fire across Syria in a unanimously adopted Feb. 24 resolution. Russia and Damascus say a cease-fire ordered by the UN Security Council does not protect the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta.

Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia also said some states were accusing the Syrian government of carrying our chemical weapons attacks in a bid to “prepare the ground for the unilateral use of force against sovereign Syria.”

“We have heard hints of that in the statements of some delegations today,” Nebenzia said. “Basically steps are being weighed which could hit regional stability very, very hard.”



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