Russian Envoy to UN Says Immediate Priority in Syria to ‘Avert Danger of War’

Russian Envoy to UN Says Immediate Priority in Syria to ‘Avert Danger of War’
AP Photo / Mary AltafferWorld23:21 12.04.2018Get short URL

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The current situation in Syria is extremely dangerous, and therefore the top priority for all parties involved should be to avoid a wider war in the country, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Thursday.

“The situation [in Syria] is very dangerous,” Nebenzia said. “The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war.”

The Russian envoy’s remarks came as US President Donald Trump was weighing possible military strikes that could sharply escalate the conflict.

The envoy said Russia is very concerned about any escalation in Syria and expressed hope the United States would not allow the crisis in the country to deteriorate. Nebenzia also expressed Russia’s desire to engage in dialogue about the recent events in Syria.

He added Russia has called on the members of the United Nations Security Council to hold an open meeting on the situation situation in Syria with the participation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump threatened to take military action against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Duma.

Reports of the alleged attack first emerged on Saturday, when rebel-allied groups said an apparent chemical attack killed up to 70 people.

The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons in the Eastern Ghouta town of Duma, saying the alleged attack was staged by the terrorist group Jaish al-Islam to serve as a rallying call for intervention in Syria.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said the goal of the reports of chemical attacks was to provide cover for terrorists and justify the use of military force against Assad. As early as March 13, Russian Air Forces were warning that terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta were planning to stage a chemical attack as a provocation.