07:22 GMT02 April 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The strike by France, the United Kingdom, and the United States on Syria did not aim to disrupt Russia's strategic plans in the war torn country, UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said.

    "The united action we are now taking is limited and proportionate. It is not about intervening in a civil war, not about regime change, nor about frustrating Russian strategic objectives in Syria," Williamson told the Sunday Times newspaper.

    Williamson, however, noted that a political solution is the only way to resolve the Syrian conflict.

    "Ultimately, a political solution will be the only way to resolve a seven-year conflict that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Britain, with the United States, has been at the forefront of diplomatic efforts. We continue pressing for a peaceful settlement and calling on the Kremlin to be part of the solution, not the problem," Williamson added.

    On Friday night, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical incident in the Damascus' suburb of Duma. The Western states have accused forces of President Bashar Assad of an attack with the use of chemicals in Duma. The Syrian leadership denied any involvement in the attack, and invited the experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate into the reports.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the three countries fired over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles, most of which were shot down by Syrian air defense. According to Damascus, which has repeatedly said it had eliminated its chemical weapons stockpiles, the attack damaged Syrian infrastructure, and left three civilians injured.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that the strikes had been carried out in violation of norms and principles of the international law.


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