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Putin Calls for Idlib Incident Investigation, Warns of Possible New Provocations

© AFP 2023 / Attila Kisbenedek Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
Speaking at a briefing after talks with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared the US military actions in Syria with the events in Iraq in 2003 and stated that Russia would seek thorough investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib.

In this image from video provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian president also explained the anti-Syrian and anti-Russian attitude of the Western states by the fact that European countries and the United States wanted to restore the close relationship, consolidating against Russia and Syria.

Earlier this month, the Syrian opposition reported that some 80 people were killed and 200 others injured in a chemical weapons attack in Idlib, blaming the Syrian army for the attack. On April 7, the United States carried out a missile attack on the Syrian airbase near the city of Homs, claiming, with no evidence provided, that the chemical attack was allegedly launched from that airfield. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has denied the government’s involvement in the Idlib incident, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday criticized the US missile attack as a violation of the international law.


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Putin said that the latest US missile strikes carried out without providing proof of the Syrian government involvement in the alleged Idlib attack, bring to mind the United States' UN Security Council address in 2003 that led to the invasion of Iraq.

In 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell made a speech at the UN Security Council and presented the falsified evidence of the weapons of mass destruction presence in Iraq, using it to justify the US intervention in Iraq.

"This reminds me very much of the events of 2003, when US representatives in the Security Council showed alleged chemical weapons discovered in Iraq. A military campaign in Iraq ensued, which ended with the destruction of the country, an increased terrorist threat and the emergence of Daesh [banned in Russia] on the international scene – no more, no less. The exact same thing is happening now, and their partners are nodding approvingly…. We have seen this all before," Putin stated.

Lavrov also said the United States' latest missile attack on a Syrian airfield is reminiscent of its military intervention in Iraq 14 years ago and was an "act of aggression under an absolutely false pretext."


Putin explained that seeing Russia and Syria as a common enemy, European countries would like to restore the lost relationship with the United States after an "anti-Trump" campaign during the elections.

"Why is this happening? Everyone wants to restore relations in the Western community after – thanks to the former US administration – many European countries adopted an anti-Trump position during the election campaign. Syria and Russia, as a common enemy, provide a wonderful platform for consolidation," Putin said.

Putin stressed that Russia was ready to be patient and expressed hope that the tensions would eventually be resolved positively.

"We are ready to put up with that for a while in the hope that it will eventually lead us to some positive trend based on interaction," Putin said.


President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 6, 2017, after the U.S. fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria Thursday night in retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. - Sputnik International
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Putin stated that Russia had information from trusted sources that provocations involving fabricated chemical attacks were being prepared in other regions across Syria, including southern Damascus.

"We have information from a variety of sources that such provocations (I cannot find another word for this) are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including in southern suburbs of Damascus, where they are planning to plant certain substances and accuse Syrian authorities of using them," Putin said.

The Russian president stressed that any events similar to the reported chemical incident in Syria’s Idlib should be thoroughly investigated.

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