Statement by the Foreign Ministry (14.04.2018)

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On April 14, the United States, together with Great Britain and France, committed an act of aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic by launching a massive missile attack on its territory in gross violation of the UN Charter.

Over one hundred air- and sea-launched cruise missiles were fired on a number of targets in Syria. The facilities attacked include a research centre in the Syrian capital, the headquarters of the Republican Guard, an air defence base, several military airfields and army storage facilities. Considerable damage has been done to civilian infrastructure. Media reports indicate there are victims; their number is being verified.

According to the Russian Embassy in Damascus, there are no Russian nationals among the victims.

The Russian Defence Ministry said none of the launched cruise missiles entered the area of responsibility of the Russian air-defence units deployed in Syria.

This step was designed to intimidate and was taken under an absolutely contrived pretext of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government in the city of Douma on April 7. The facts presented by the Syrian government and the Russian side showing that the incident had been deliberately and cynically staged have been ignored. The missile strikes were made just as inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were about to head to Douma with a mission to find out the truth. There is every reason to believe that the objective behind the attack on Syria was to obstruct the work of the OPCW inspectors.

We resolutely condemn the armed aggression against Syria. This is a gross violation of fundamental principles of international law, an absolutely groundless assault on the sovereignty of a country which is a full member of the United Nations Organisation and which has been resolutely fighting terrorism on its territory for many years.

Russia demands an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and calls on its members and all responsible countries of the international community to give an adequate assessment of the event and to exclude the possibility of a repetition of rash aggressive acts that put peace and security at stake in the region, which has already been heavily destabilised due to criminal reckless acts perpetrated in Iraq and Libya by the United States and its allies.

There is no escaping the fact that the aggression has taken place at a time when the Syrian troops are pressing on with their successful assault on ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups. To all appearances, the United States and its allies want to give radicals and extremists a chance to catch their breath and restore their ranks in order to prolong bloodshed on the Syrian territory and thus hinder political settlement.

It is becoming absolutely clear that those in the West who hide behind humanitarian rhetoric and try to justify their military presence in Syria by the need to finish off jihadists, in reality share their goals and are working towards breaking up the country. This conclusion is proved out by the categorical refusal of the USA and its allies to assist in the restoration of the Syrian regions liberated by the government army.

Last of all, this act of aggression dealt a powerful blow to the efforts to invigorate the Geneva political process on the basis of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which unanimously reaffirmed the commitment to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

We urge to immediately put an end to this highly dangerous line of the Western leaders to break down all the agreements on ways to reach Syria settlement.