Russia will retaliate if its military facilities in Syria are targeted, a Russian lawmaker said Tuesday. The comments came at a time when the U.S. and its allies have held Moscow partially responsible for last week’s deadly chemical gas attack that killed nearly 100 people.
In response to the chemical attack, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting the Syrian government-controlled air base on March 6 much to the anger of Russia. However, Russian lawmaker Yury Shvytkin told Sputnik on Tuesday that any attack on the country’s military installations in Syria will lead to an immediate response.
“Should there be a threat to our units there, an attempt at an attack from anyone, of course there will be no words, there will be real actions,” Shvytkin, lower house defense committee deputy chair, told the Russian news agency.
Shvytkin also said steps his country took after the U.S. missile strikes “were in my opinion sufficient, at least in light of what we can do within the framework of international legal relations for the Syrian army to react itself.”
On Monday, another Russian lawmaker Victor Ozerov said Moscow is not willing to have any military conflict with the U.S. troops in Syria and its military in the war-torn country is only to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in the terror fight.
“Russia is not going there to conduct armed activity with the US, our task there is to support the Syrian armed forces in the fight against terrorism,” Ozerov reportedly said, adding, “we have a mandate to fulfill this very task.”
The U.S. and its allies urged Russia to stop its support to Assad. Britain is also planning to request Western countries to bring in new sanctions on Russia, if Moscow fails to withdraw its support to the Syrian president, British newspaper the Sunday Times reported.