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Russia: US strikes on Syria 'play into hands of extremists'

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By Euronews
Russia: US strikes on Syria 'play into hands of extremists'

<p>Russia’s foreign minister has said that last week’s US missile strikes on a Syrian military airbase plays “into the hands of extremists” and further threaten regional and global stability.</p> <p>The comments from Sergei Lavrov came <a href="http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2721410">in a phone conversation</a> with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Saturday.</p> <p>The Russian and American ministers are due to meet in Moscow this week. </p> <p>On Friday Russia warned the move would further damage ties with Washington.</p> <p>On Sunday the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson questioned Russia’s motives in Syria, saying it had failed to prevent Damascus from carrying out a chemical attack on a rebel-held town.</p> <p>“Clearly they are Bashar al-Assad’s current ally, they should have the greatest influence on Bashar al-Assad and certainly his decisions to use chemical weapons, they should have the greatest influence on him, to cause him to no longer use those. I hope that Russia is thinking carefully about its continued alliance with Bashar al-Assad because every time one of this horrific attack occurs, it draws Russia closer in to some level of responsibility,” Tillerson said in a TV interview.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sec. Tillerson on <a href="https://twitter.com/FaceTheNation"><code>FaceTheNation</a>: Our priority in Syria hasn’t changed. <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS"></code>POTUS</a> has been clear – we must defeat <span class="caps">ISIS</span>. <a href="https://t.co/Ec0YKXbBaG">https://t.co/Ec0YKXbBaG</a></p>— Department of State (@StateDept) <a href="https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/851128950587879424">April 9, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Turkey, which welcomed the US strikes, joined in the criticism of Russia on Sunday.</p> <p>Its Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he had told his Russian counterpart that Moscow had failed to prevent breaches in the Syrian ceasefire.</p> <p>As the issue echoed across the Middle East, Iran’s President Rouhani slammed Donald Trump on Sunday for attacking Syria without UN backing</p> <p>“How does the US president allow himself to attack an independent country in the sensitive region of the Middle East… without the permission of the United Nations, without a meeting of the UN Security Council and even without the permission of the US Congress?” Rouhani asked during a ceremony to mark Iran’s National Day of Nuclear Technology.</p> <p>The Iranian leader also criticised other countries in the region for supporting the US action, saying “your turn will come too”.</p> <p>Saudi Arabia as well as Turkey welcomed the US attack.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">“I have a sense of déjà vu. It is another repetition of irresponsible behavior. The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Airstrikes?src=hash">#Airstrikes</a> are a clear violation of international law”. <a href="https://t.co/YKZ5shF9xA">pic.twitter.com/YKZ5shF9xA</a></p>— RussianMissionEU (@RusMission_EU) <a href="https://twitter.com/RusMission_EU/status/850399219349409792">April 7, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p><em>An earlier version of this story cited a Reuters report containing a purported comment from a joint Iranian/Russian group. Euronews now believes this report to be incorrect. We apologise sincerely for this error.</em></p>