Russia has once again denounced what it called ‘an act of aggression’, after the US missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation to a reported use of chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the statement alongside his Iranian and Syrian counterparts at three-way talks in Moscow.The alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad held a joint press conference roundly condemning the US actions.
Lavrov said that breaking international law is ‘unnacceptable’ and such ‘aggressive actions are aimed at undermining the peace process’.
Russia called for an exhaustive and independent inquiry, a position echoed by the Syrian Foreign Minister who questioned why the US would fear such an investigation.
“Why did they commit this act of aggression even before a committee of inquiry was established? Do they want to reduce international relations to the law of the jungle?”
A fact-finding mission led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is investigating the attack. Syria has denied any responsibility for the assault which killed at least 87 people, many of them children.
During the press conference Lavrov acriticised the ability of the OPCW to carry out an investigation into the reported chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, calling for American and Russian experts to join the investigation. He said it was ‘unacceptable that the OPCW analyses the evidence not on location’.
On Wednesday Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding a swift investigation into a chemical weapons attack in Syria, challenging claims that Assad was behind the chemical attack.
Britain’s UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the Security Council that samples taken from the April 4 attack had been analysed by British scientists and tested positive for the nerve gas sarin, and said Assad’s government was responsible.