Damascus warns US of response in case of new aggression against Syria
The Syrian Foreign Ministry warned Washington of a possible response in case of new aggression against the country.
Last week, the White House claimed that a new attack involving chemical weapons was in the works by the Syrian government, however, declined to present any evidence. Washington vowed to make Syrian authorities “pay a heavy price” in case of chemical weapons use. The Kremlin commented on the White House’s claim and said that it considers US’ threats against Syrian legitimate leadership to be “unacceptable.” Damascus also denied the information.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said that Washington must study possible Damascus’ and Moscow’s actions as a response to “aggression” against Syria.
“Washington must thoroughly study [possible] actions of Damascus and Moscow in response to any new aggression,” Mekdad told reporters during a press conference in Damascus.
He also reaffirmed that Damascus has no chemical weapons since they had been destroyed in 2014, according to an agreement brokered by Russia and the US among others parties involved.
After the US-led coalition downed a Syrian army’s Su-22 bomber in the Raqqa province in June, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that Russia’s missile defense would track all coalition’s aircraft flying in areas where Russian aviation operates west of the Euphrates River in Syria.
On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces supported by the United States blamed the Syrian government for an alleged chemical weapon attack in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province. Reacting to the incident, Washington, which had not presented any proof of the chemical weapons use by Damascus, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian governmental military airfield in Ash Sha’irat on April 6.
Damascus has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident and said that the Syrian government doesn’t possess chemical weapons as the full destruction of Damascus’ chemical weapons stockpile had been confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in January 2016.
In an interview with Sputnik on April 21, Assad characterized the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun as a provocation to justify the US strike on Ash Sha’irat. The Syrian leader also warned of the possibility of the new provocations similar to the one in Khan Sheikhoun.