US, allies could stop Syrian conflict within 24 hours if they wanted to – Russian envoy
Russia called the strikes that the US, the UK, and France carried out in Syria a “blatant disregard of international law.” Moscow’s envoy to UN said the three countries could have stopped the conflict in Syria within 24 hours.
By acting without any mandate from the UN Security Council, the US and its allies violated the norms and principles of international law, as well as undermining the authority of the UNSC, Russian Envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said, denouncing the strikes against Syria as “an aggression against a sovereign state.”
Nebenzia also called the attack “hooliganism” in international relations, noting that it is not a small one, as nuclear powers are involved. He said that the countries used a well-tried pattern of “provocation-false accusations – false sentence – punishment.”
“Is this the way you want to conduct international affairs?” he said.
“The conflict in Syria could have been stopped within 24 hours. Washington, London and Paris should have told their pocket terrorists to stop fighting the legitimate government of their people,” Nebenzia said.
He said that the two research facilities that were targeted in the strike had been inspected by the OPCW, which didn’t find any traces of chemical weapons.
Just like they did a year ago, the US used a staged a chemical attack against civilians as a pretext for its strikes, Nebenzia said, adding that Russian military experts found no trace of any chemical agent at the scene of the alleged attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma. “In a sign of cynical disdain,” a group of Western countries decided to take military action without waiting for a group of OPCW experts to present the results of an investigation into the incident, according to Nebenzia.
Russia did “everything possible” to convince the US and its allies to refrain from their military plans, which could destabilize not only Syria but the whole Middle East. However, Washington, London, and Paris “preferred to disregard appeals to common sense,” he added.
“The time for talk ended last night,” the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said, referring to the coalition airstrikes in Syria. She then added that the US, the UK, and France “acted” not out of “revenge… punishment [or] a symbolic show of force but… to deter the future use of chemical weapons” by holding the Syrian government responsible for what she called “atrocities against humanity.”
She also claimed that the actions of the coalition were “justified, legitimate and proportionate.”
The British representative to the UN, Karen Pierce, called the coalition operation a success, claiming that “none of the British, French or US aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by the Syrian air defenses.”Pierce also called the UK actions a “humanitarian intervention” aimed at “alleviating overwhelming humanitarian suffering” of the Syrian people.