Russia has warned of serious consequences to the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase alleged to have used chemical weapons.
In a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Russia’s deputy envoy Vladimir Safronkov warned, “[W]e strongly condemn the illegitimate actions by the U.S. The consequences of this for regional and international stability could be extremely serious.”
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said, “[W]e are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary, the United States will not stand by when chemical weapons are used. It is in our vital national security interest to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons.”
This could be a major setback to the Trump administration’s attempts at improving relations with the Kremlin which have deteriorated under President Obama.
Spokesperson for the Russian Presidency Dmitry Peskov commented the strike is, “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law.”
“Washington’s step will inflict major damage on US-Russia ties,” Peskov added.
U.S. officials insist the strike was intended to combat the use of chemical weapons, and was strictly deterrence, rather than an escalation of, U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.
“Iran strongly condemns any such unilateral strikes…such measures will strengthen terrorists in Syria…and it will complicate the situation in Syria and the region,” claimed Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi.
The move undoubtedly sends clear signals to Tehran about defying international law, as the Iranian government has recently been accused of violating international agreements with ballistic missile tests. The move invited speculation about serious reprisal from Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The complexity of the Syrian civil war, coupled with the Russian warning of serious consequences, alerts all major powers involved that mindfulness is required in terms of moving forward. Human rights concerns, multiple national security interests, and further destabilization of an already combustive political situation are all serious considerations.
Photo Source: U.S. Navy
News Source: Al Jazeera and Reuters