Putin believes US attack on Syria violates international law – spokesman
President Putin “regards the strikes as aggression against a sovereign nation,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, noting that the president believes the strikes were carried out “in violation of international law, and also under an invented pretext.”
Peskov also insisted that “the Syrian army doesn’t have chemical weapons,” saying this had been “observed and confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a special UN unit.”
Putin sees the US missile strike on Syria as an attempt to distract attention from civilian casualties in Iraq, Peskov added.
“This step deals significant damage to US-Russian ties, which are already in a deplorable state,” Peskov said.
The US has been ignoring the use of chemical weapons by terrorists and this is dramatically aggravating the situation, in Putin’s opinion, his spokesman said.
In the early hours of Friday morning, the US launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield that Washington claims was used on Tuesday to conduct a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in Idlib province. The missile strike has been condemned by Russia and Iran and sparked debate among US senators.
Moscow suspended its memorandum of understanding on flight safety in Syria with the US following the missile strike, calling the attack “a demonstration of force.” The Russian military has supported the Syrian government’s version of the events in Idlib, saying that Damascus attacked an arms depot where chemical weapons had been stockpiled by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front militants.