MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US missile strike against Syria hindered the political process in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
"We have discussed the illegal, aggressive actions of the US…, when the strikes were carried out against the airbase in Syria, which only exacerbated the situation and perhaps deliberately made the search for the political settlement difficult," Lavrov told reporters following the meeting with his Senegalese counterpart Mankeur Ndiaye, adding that the political settlement was the only way forward for Syria.
The minister stressed the importance of the international efforts in the fight against terrorism.
On April 7, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat. US President Donald Trump said that the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib province on April 4, which resulted in the death of over 80 people, an incident which Washington blames on the Syrian government.
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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on April 6 that groundless accusations in the chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib were unacceptable before the investigation into the matter had been carried out while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday criticized the US missile attack as a violation of the international law.
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.
Moscow said the Russian air group in Syria was protected by S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense systems on a round-the-clock basis.
In an exclusive interview with Fox Business on April 12, US President Donald Trump blamed the current situation in Syria on Moscow's support for country's Assad, calling the Syrian leader "an animal."