MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed by phone with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif the situation in Syria after a recent US missile strike on a Syrian airbase in Homs province, the parties stressed that such actions are a gross violation of international law, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.
"On April 10, on the Iranian side's initiative, a telephone conversation took place between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif," and the sides "discussed the situation in Syria after the US missile strike on an airbase in that country," the statement said.
"Both sides stressed that such aggressive actions against a sovereign independent state are a gross violation of international law, primarily the UN Charter, create threats to regional security, harm the fight against international terrorism," it said.
The Syrian foreign minister denied the government’s involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it had never nor would it ever use chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country.
"Sergei Lavrov and Mohammad Zarif called for a thorough and impartial investigation into the incident in the Syrian province of Idlib which led to multiple casualties among the civilians," the statement read.
The statement pointed out that the ministers "agreed to maintain close contacts for further coordination of cooperation on urgent issues of bilateral and international agenda."
The Russian Defense Ministry said on April 5 that the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun by the Syrian air force hit a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq, and called on the UN Security Council to launch a proper investigation into the incident.
The US missile attack claimed the lives of 10 people, an officer of the Syrian Armed Forces told Sputnik. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the attack left two Syrian servicemen missing, four killed, and six suffering severe injuries from the fire. Homs Governor Talal Barazi said on April 7 that at least two civilians from a nearby village and five Syrian servicemen were killed.
After the missile attack, the Russian Defense Ministry suspended a point-to-point communications link with the US military under the memorandum of understanding on de-confliction in Syria.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the US missile strike against the Syrian airfield as a strategic mistake.