A lawmaker in the Russian lower house of the parliament, the State Duma, has vehemently condemned the recent US missile strikes on Syria, warning that the military aggression risks a nuclear war.
“This act goes far beyond just Syria, because, clearly, Russia supports the legal Syrian government and takes part to a certain scale in this conflict. Therefore, such strikes are an act not just against Syria, but also against Russia," Mikhail Yemelyanov said
"Moreover, when Americans were striking the airport, they didn't know if our citizens were there or not. So, this situation may lead at least to a repetition of the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' which almost pushed the world onto the edge of a nuclear war,” he added.
Yemelyanov further dismissed as “lies” the accusations that the Syrian government had been responsible for the chemical incident in the town of Khan Shaykhun, which reportedly left over 80 people dead, on April 4.
“What relates to the chemical attack, it is all lies, there was no chemical attack (by government forces) and it could not have happened due to the current situation in Syria. Chemical weapons were taken from Syria a long time ago, and the Americans know this, because they were transported under their control. This is an excuse for the US to interfere in the Syrian conflict directly,” he pointed out.
The Russian legislator further criticized US President Donald Trump as an “unpredictable and reckless” politician, stressing that the US military action against Syria has further damaged the already-battered relations between Moscow and Washington.
“Trump showed himself as an unpredictable, reckless and irrational politician. Therefore, what kind of actions he may undertake is a big question. But I think he will get scared of his own decision, especially taking into account that not all of the US elite, including many Democrats, supported him in the act. So, I think he will stop, but very serious damage was done to Russia-US relations and now there is a question: should [US Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson come to Moscow and what should we talk about after this?” Yemelyanov pointed out.
The Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea at the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s central province of Homs on April 7. US officials claim that the Khan Shaykhun chemical assault had been launched from the military site.
At least nine people were killed in the early morning strike on the Syrian airfield, according to Syria’s official news agency, SANA.
Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned the US strike as "a flagrant aggression" against the Arab country, and said Washington’s real objective was to "weaken the strength of the Syrian army in confronting terrorist groups."
In a Friday statement, the ministry described the Khan Shaykhun attack as a "premeditated action that aimed to justify the launching of a US attack on the Syrian army."
The Russian Foreign Ministry also censured the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state.
Meanwhile, another Russian lawmaker, Pyotr Tolstoi, has denounced the US military action, stressing that is was carried out without UN Security Council’s approval.
“This is not a conflict between Russia and the US. This is a challenge to the system of international law by the US and its allies. They have no right to decide by themselves, who must be punished, who is good and who is bad, without an investigation of the situation and without any internationally recognized evidence,” he said.