Russia Claims US Was Given 'Red Lines' for Syria Bombing

Elias Hubbard
April 22, 2018

"It's better than not having those", Lavrov said. We heeded their call. "But now we have no such moral obligation", the top Russian diplomat added.

The United States, along with Britain and France, launched joint airstrikes on military targets in Syria on April 14 for the Bashar al-Assad government's alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta near the Syrian capital, earlier this month.

Moscow's hopes for better ties with Washington under Trump have withered amid the ongoing investigations into the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Russian military and the regime said most of the missiles were intercepted, while U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted "mission accomplished" following the strikes.

The Assad regime was set to get the missile defense systems in 2013, but Russian President Vladimir Putin froze the deal after talks with European Union leaders and Israel. The missile systems have a range of 200 kilometers (120 miles), which cover the airspace of Lebanon, sometimes used by Israeli planes to strike Syria and Israel itself.

The announcement has raised fears in Israel, which has been conducting frequent air raids against various targets in Syria in support of anti-Damascus militants.

According to former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, the deployment of S-300 in Syria has been a concern for Israel in the past two decades.

In this picture taken on August 27, 2013, Russian air defense missile system Antey 2500, or S-300 VM, is on display at the opening of the MAKS Air Show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia.

"We no longer have such moral obligations", Lavrov said. President Trump touted the attack, and faulted Russian Federation for having a friend like Assad, while Mattis made very clear the attacks were a one-off and exclusively targeted Syrian infrastructure.

Asked about the danger of a Russia-U.S. military clash, Lavrov voiced hope that military leaders realize that "any actions that could provoke a direct clash between the Russian and the U.S. militaries are unacceptable". They were notified of our "red lines, ' including geographical "red lines" on the ground".

"The results [of the USA airstrikes] show that they did not cross these lines", he added.

Lavrov also revealed that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin discussed the possibility of visiting each other's country when the US president rang up Russian counterpart last month to congratulate him on his re-election.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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