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Syria: US strikes slammed as 'irresponsible'


brussels bureau

Syria: US strikes slammed as 'irresponsible'

A Russian official has slammed American air strikes in Syria, describing them as “another repetition of irresponsible behaviour.”

Speaking to Euronews, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU, said the decision was taken “without hard facts in hand.”

Andrei Beketov, Euronews: “What was your first thought when you learned about the American strike in Syria?”

Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU: “I’ll tell you frankly, it was a sense of deja-vu. Well, it is another repetition of irresponsible behaviour. Now the airstrikes of course are a clear violation of international law.”

Euronews: “But something must have been done after this horrific chemical attack in Idlib. Don’t you think in parallel with the Americans?”

Chizhov: “Something evidently needed to be done. International investigators should have gone to that particular place and completed their investigation.”

Euronews: “And what is Russia going to do with the Assad regime?”

Chizhov: “Well Russian support for the Syrian regime had never been unconditional. But we believe that what happened in the last 48 or 72 hours in Syria is, well has all the traits of a provocation I would say because it is evident, and certainly that can be confirmed by international monitors and investigators when they go there, that the responsibility for the chemical, very tragic incident lies with the so-called moderate rebels rather than with Syrian government.”

Euronews: “What do you think about the reaction here in Brussels? It looks like the EU and US are now being pushed closer together because they have a common aim now in Syria.”

Chizhov: “Well I think first of all we all have the same aim in Syria, which is to bring peace to that war-torn country and we have an overarching aim of combating… that overarching which goes beyond Syria, of combating international terrorism.”

Euronews: “But Russia is already today saying that it will strengthen its air defence in the area and there are reports about naval movements in that direction.”

Chizhov: “Russia has, totally different from the United States, has been deploying its air force and naval resources to Syria on a legitimate basis at the request of the legitimate Syrian government.”

Euronews: “In 2013, Russia was supposed to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons…”

Chizhov: “That was done, that was verified…”

Euronews: “But we see it in action, this chemical weapon again…”

Chizhov: “Yes because they are, they were stockpiled and evidently also produced by opposition groups in the territories that they control.”

Euronews: “It’s a very emotive subject and President Trump was probably moved by pictures of poisoned children, women.. Do you understand this motive and would Russia do the same if it had means?”

Chizhov: “It is the duty of every leader to take decisions not based on personal emotions, but rather on hard facts and unfortunately this decision on air strikes was taken by Washington without hard facts in hand.”

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