Moscow Warns of ‘Serious Consequences’ to Possible US Strike in Syria

Moscow Warns of ‘Serious Consequences’ to Possible US Strike in Syria

Wednesday, 14 March, 2018 - 07:30
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Reuters)
Moscow, Ankara – Raed Jaber and Saeed Abdul Razek
Moscow sent the strongest message to Washington on Tuesday after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley hinted that her country was ready to deliver a strike on Syria if the UN proved unable to secure the ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US will face very serious consequences if a new strike of this kind takes place.

"Mrs. Haley should understand that it is one thing to irresponsibly exploit the microphone at the UN Security Council and it is another thing when both the Russian and American militaries have communication channels,” Lavrov was quoted by TASS as saying.

“It is clearly stated via these channels what can be done and what must not be done.”

Haley had made her remarks during a Security Council session on Monday.

The Russian Defense Ministry echoed Lavrov’s escalatory language, threatening to respond militarily if its forces operating in Syria are targeted.

Separately, the Turkish army announced that its forces have surrounded the Kurdish town of Afrin as part of its “Olive Branch” operation.

The country’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara and Washington would oversee the withdrawal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the city of Manbij, in northern Syria, to east the Euphrates.

The minister also said that Turkish soldiers with US troops would ensure the town's security.

Speaking to reporters while on a his flight to Moscow, Cavusoglu said both countries would tackle details of a plan to secure Manbij during talks expected between the foreign ministers of Turkey and the US, scheduled to meet on March 19 in Washington.

The YPG meanwhile acknowledged that Turkish forces were shelling all roads to Afrin, but dismissed as propaganda Turkish statements that it had surrounded the town.

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