Russia calls for emergency UN meet over US missile strikes on Syria

07 April 2017

The United Nations Security Council will meet at 11:30 am EDT for a briefing on the US air strike on Syrian targets, after Russia today called for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss what the Russian foreign ministry described as "thoughtless" aggression by the US.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Maj Gen. Igor Konashenkov has said that the Russian military would help the Syrian military beef up its air defences following the US strike.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that Russia was also suspending a Syrian air safety agreement with the United States, saying: "This is not the first time the United States has resorted to such a thoughtless step, which merely exacerbates existing problems and threatens global security."

Russia has dismissed Western accusations against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who Washington says was responsible for a chemical gas attack that left scores dead in the Syrian province of Idlib.

The foreign ministry said it was clear that the US missile strikes were prepared before the Idlib incident.

US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) conducted the strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea, which the US Defense Department said was a part of cruise missile strike against Syria. 

Syria's foreign ministry, meanwhile, said the chemical attack that killed scores in northern Syria was a "premeditated action that aimed to justify the launching of a U.S. attack on the Syrian army."

The ministry described the US missile attack that heavily damaged the Shayrat air base in the central province of Homs "a flagrant aggression."

It said in a statement today that the real objective of the US attack was to "weaken the strength of the Syrian army in confronting terrorist groups."

The Russian military said its facilities in Syria are reliably protected by cutting edge air defence weapons, in a statement that followed US missile strike on a Syrian air base.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman said the S-400 and Pantsyr air defence systems offer a "guaranteed protection" to Russian warplanes stationed at Hemeimeem air base in Syria's province of Latakia.

He added that a Russian navy outpost in Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus is protected by S-300 air defence systems.

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