Zakharova to West: Seriously consider consequences of attack on Syria


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Zakharova to West: Seriously consider consequences of attack on Syria

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia says threats by the US and France to launch a military aggression against Syria violate the UN Charter, calling on the West to “seriously consider” the consequences of such intimidation.

“At the highest level, the presidents of the United States and France threatened a tough reaction, with the use of force against Syria. I would like to note that the threat of using force against a UN member state is a gross violation of the charter of this organization,”Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

“We call upon… members of the international community to seriously consider the possible consequences of such accusations, threats and especially action (against Syria),” she added.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to strike Syria in response to an alleged gas attack in the Arab country. France has also said it would join the military action.

Trump has, however, cast doubt on the timing of the possible military action, saying, “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned the Western states against any military action on his homeland.

Elsewhere in her remarks, Zakharova underlined the need for “an immediate and objective investigation” into the suspected chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Douma on April 7.

The Russian army, in coordination with the Syrian government, is ready to provide safe conditions for chemical experts on the ground, she added.

The spokeswoman further stressed that Russian military personnel and doctors had visited Douma but found no traces of a chemical attack.

“Our position is perfectly clear and defined. We are not seeking an escalation,” she concluded.

Russian ships leave Tartus

Meanwhile, a defense committee chairman at the Russian parliament’s lower house said the country’s ships had left the naval base in the western Syrian city of Tartus.

Interfax news agency quoted Russian lawmaker Vladimir Shamanov as saying that the vessels had left the Mediterranean base for their own safety, adding that “this is normal practice” when there are threats of an attack.

Germany says won’t joint Syria strikes

Separately on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin would not join any military strikes against Syria, but supports efforts to show the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.

“Germany will not take part in possible – there have not been any decisions yet, I want to stress that – military action,” Merkel said following a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in Berlin.

France claims to have ‘proof’ on Syria chemicals

However, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that Paris had “the proof” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, including chlorine, “last week.”

He also noted that France would decide whether to strike Syria when all the necessary information has been gathered.

“Our teams have been working on this all week and we will need to take decisions in due course, when we judge it most useful and effective,” Macron told broadcaster TF1.

Comment: Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a series of Syria-related phone talks that Rome will not take part in military action against Bashar Assad’s government, the Agenzia Nova news agency reported Thursday citing sources in Gentiloni’s office.

According to Agenzia Nova, Gentiloni stressed, though, that Italy will continue to provide logistics support to allies in line with international and bilateral agreements.

In the wake of US President Donald Trump’s threats to attack Syria in retaliation to an alleged chemical attack which he quickly blamed on the Syrian government, European countries unveil their stance on the possible bombing of Syria.

See also: Touche: ‘Let’s start by destroying US chemical weapons’ – Maria Zakharova responds to Trump’s plea to ‘end arms race’