On Thursday night, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on the Syrian government. According to Homs Governor Talal Barazi, the attack killed five people and injured seven others.
"The aggression of the US toward Syria is only contributing to the terrorism strengthening," Vladimir Safronkov told at the UN. "It is not difficult to imagine how much the spirit of these terrorists have been raised after the support from Washington."
"We call upon the United States to immediately cease aggression and to join those efforts being made for a political settlement in Syria," Safronkov stated.
"The Russian Federation from the United Nations organization has stated the need to establish an international coalition to counter terrorism, which would be on the basis of international law," Safronkov stated. "You have chosen a different path."
Washington's calls for the political settlement in Syria turn out to be hypocritical after the strikes, he said.
"Today's calls to promote the process of political settlement are hypocritical. After the military strikes, unfortunately," Safronkov said at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday.
"On this track, on the platforms of Astana, Geneva, visible positive changes have recently appeared. What goals did you pursue when you undermined this progress, by the way, achieved by no means thanks to you?" he said refering to the comments by his Western colleagues.
The US, the UK and France are obsessed with Syrian President Bashar Assad's ousting, he emphasized.
"Washington, London and Paris are obsessed with the paranoid idea of overthrowing the legitimate government of Syria. This is evidenced by the evil, undiplomatic behavior and the address by the British ambassador. Mr. Rycroft, stop operating with low-quality, unprofessional arguments and accusations against my country. Once again I warn you, do not even try to quarrel with the Arab world, nothing good will come of it," the Russian diplomat said.
The United States fears an independent investigation into Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons because it would not support its stance against the government in Damascus, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov said at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday.
"You are afraid of real, genuine, independent investigation," Safronkov stated. "What would happen if the outcome of the investigation would contradict your anti-government paradigm?"
Syrian opposition claimed Tuesday forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used a chemical gas on people in the northwestern province, killing nearly 80 and injuring 200. Assad argued his government has no chemical weapons after agreeing to have them destroyed in 2013. He also ruled out having used chemicals against own people.
The Russian Defense Ministry said early Wednesday the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun was carried out by Syrian aircraft, which struck a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq.
In 2013, the Syrian authorities agreed to transfer its stockpiled chemical weapons to international control for their subsequent destruction, so as to prevent them from falling into the hands of militants operating in the country.