MOSCOW: Russia, Syria and Iran strongly warned the United States Friday against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international investigation of the chemical weapons attack there that killed nearly 90 people, reports AP.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Moscow, denounced the US missile strikes on Syria as a “flagrant violation” of international law. Additional such actions would entail “grave consequences not only for regional but global security,” Lavrov said.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the meeting sent a “strong message” to Washington.Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants agreed that unilateral actions by the US were unacceptable. The US accuses the Syrian government of deliberately launching the deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. Russia has alleged that the victims were killed by toxic agents from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian war planes.
Moscow has warned against putting the blame on Damascus until an independent inquiry is conducted and vetoed a proposed UN resolution on the attack, saying it failed to mention the need to inspect the affected area.
Lavrov on Friday expressed skepticism about a preliminary investigation conducted by the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog. He alleged that its experts
failed to visit the site and said it was unclear to Russia where evidence was taken and how it was
In Russia’s view, the probe conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be widened to include experts from many nations, he said.
“If our US colleagues and some European nations believe that their version is right, they have no reason to fear the creation of such an independent group,” Lavrov added. “The investigation into this high-profile incident must be transparent and leave no doubt that someone is trying to hide something.”
Lavrov said the U.S. strike on the Syrian base has undermined peace efforts in Syria and reflected Washington’s focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.