Russia, Iran Stand Beside Assad, Condemn US Airstrikes
Are we on the precipice of entering a Third World War? Unfortunately with the latest developments in Syria, the answer might be closer to yes than we’d like.
With the US and the Trump administration making their stand against Assad and his decision to use chemical weapons, by using weapons on his airbase themselves, Russia and Iran backed their Ally Assad, condemning the US for using force without any warnings.
In a statement released yesterday by the joint command center in Syria, the allies (Iran, Russia & Syria) called the US air strike “a crossing of red lines.” The statement went on to add, “From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.” While the statement doesn’t make it clear on what the ‘response’ might be, this statement wouldn’t go unnoticed within the White House.
As per the Kremlin, Putin and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani spoke over the weekend, agreeing that the US had acted “in violation of international law” while calling for an investigation into the “chemical weapons incident” that had prompted the strike. While the Syrian President Assad is widely considered to be the force behind the gas attack, he has tried to shift the blame on Syrian rebels.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to meet Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart in Italy this week, after the G7 summit. Tillerson, who shared a good relationship with Putin during his tenure as ExxonMobil President, called Russia ‘complicit’ or ‘simply incompetent’ while dealing with Assad and his use of chemical weapons. Tillerson added that Russia had undermined any hope of improving relations by interfering during the 2016 elections.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary, cancelled his meeting with Sergey Lavrov stating, “Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally.” Johnson added, “We deplore Russia’s continued defense of the Assad Regime”, instead looking to focus his energy working with the G7 nations “to build coordinated international support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process.”
While Tillerson, along with the other G7, aim to speak with Lavrov on the issue, it would be surprising if the G7 summit is able to convince Russia to move away from Assad.
Image Source: Sputnik/ Michael Klimentyev