- The Russian ambassador to the US railed against the US-led coalition campaign against suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities.
- The Russian ambassador said his country is being “threatened” and warned that “such actions will not be left without consequences.”
- Defense Secretary James Mattis appeared to have referenced Russia and warned of its “disinformation campaign” in the coming days.
The Russian ambassador to the US lashed out against the US-led coalition campaign against suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities. The military action is a response to an apparent chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of people earlier this month.
“The worst apprehensions have true,” ambassador Anatoly Antonov said in a statement. “Our warnings have been left unheard. A pre-designed scenario is being implemented.”
“Again, we are being threatened,” Antonov continued. “We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”
On Friday at 9 p.m. EDT, military forces from the US, UK, and France launched a military campaign in Syria, targeting the country’s research facilities that were believed to have been involved in the development of chemical weapons.
Russia, a key Syrian ally, dismissed the allegations against Syria and said its own experts found no “trace of chlorine or any other chemical substance used against civilians.”
During a week of tense sabre-rattling, Russian officials periodically warned the US that a military response may spiral out of control to war.
“Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible,” Antonov said in his statement responding to the US-led military action. “The US – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.”
However, Defense Secretary James Mattis seemed to have anticipated Russia’s rhetoric and addressed it during a press briefing at the Pentagon on Friday evening.
“Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime,” Mattis said.