Russia has cautioned the US against any unilateral action in Syria after Washington claimed Damascus may be preparing for a chemical attack. On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov assured that Syrian army troops pose no threat to US forces, Russia’s RIA news agency reported. He also denounced US attacks on Syrian armed forces, saying “these actions are provocative in nature.” Earlier this month, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22, which was conducting an operation against Daesh militants on the outskirts of the city of Raqqah. On two occasions in June and May, US warplanes targeted Syrian military forces near the town of At-Tanf, claiming they posed a threat to US forces, an allegation rejected by Damascus.
Elsewhere in his comments, Gatilov said the US statements accusing the Syrian government of a chemical weapons attack would hinder the intra-Syrian talks.
“These speculations are not backed up by anything. No one is putting forward any facts,” he said. The US statements are unacceptable, he said, adding, “This complicates the negotiation process, negatively affects the efforts being made in Astana and Geneva.”—Agencies