The "gas attack" in Idlib province was a convenient excuse to justify US strikes, says Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
In a statement given on Friday morning in Moscow, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the US missile strikes against Syria were planned well in advance of the alleged "gas attack" in Idlib province on Tuesday.
According to Zakharova:
It is obvious that these missile strikes were planned before. For every expert it is obvious that this decision was made well in advance and before the Idlib events.
She also says that recent events in Syria are being used as a distraction as the US carries out deadly airstrikes in Mosul.
Russia's Defense Ministry agrees:
"It is evident that the US cruise missile strikes against a Syrian airbase have been prepared long before today’s events. A large system of measures of reconnaissance, planning, preparation of flight tasks and bringing the missiles to launch readiness needs to be carried out to prepare such an attack," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
In a statement released this morning by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin described the US attack as a violation of international law based on an "invented pretext".
This is consistent with Russia's position on how it views Assad's alleged "war crime".
Speaking at the Security Council meeting on Wednesday, Russia's deputy UN ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said that the US-drafted resolution blaming Assad for Tuesday's "gas attack" in Idlib province was based on "falsified reports from the White Helmets", an organization that has been "discredited long ago".
For more on the alleged "gas attack", read: Gloves Are for Sissies: Photographs Show White Helmets Are Immune to Sarin
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