‘On the threshold of some very serious events’, Russia warns as US Syria strike possibilities loom


NEW YORK: Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia appealed to the United States on Tuesday to “refrain” from any action it might be planning against Syria over a suspected deadly chemical weapons attack.

“The threats you are proffering that you’re stating vis-a-vis Syria should make us seriously worried, all of us, because we could find ourselves on the threshold of some very sad and serious events,” Nebenzia told US Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“I would once again ask you, once again beseech you, to refrain from the plans that you’re currently developing for Syria,” he said after the council failed to approve a third draft resolution on suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

The recent suspected chemical attacks in Syria have raised the prospect of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the United States. France, UK and Saudi Arabia have hinted at the possibility of joining a US led strike on Syria that Moscow warns could have “grave consequences”.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who is currently on a visit to France, said that “If our alliance with our partners requires it, we will be present,” in reference to the possibility of Saudi Arabia taking part in a joint strike on Syria.
Previously, French President Emmanuel Macron had warned that France may use military force if chemical attacks in Syria are proven.

US President Donald Trump had said that he would decide how the US responds to the alleged chemical attacks as officials believe that military plans are currently being drawn for strikes in Syria.

British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon.

“They agreed they would continue working closely together and with international partners to ensure that those responsible were held to account,” a statement from the prime minister’s office read.

These developments come as a third resolution in the UN Security Council over the suspected chemical attacks failed to pass.

French officials said on Tuesday that a Russian jet buzzed a French warship in the Eastern Mediterranean on the weekend in what is a sign of heightened tensions between the former cold war rivals over the crisis in Syria.