Russia, Iran, and Syria warn of 'grave consequences' for further U.S. strikes

On Wednesday (Thursday NZT), Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emerged from a almost two-hour meeting with Putin saying the two countries had reached a "low point" in relations. But he said Putin used the meeting to tell Washington why there is a "deadlock" in their current relations, chiefly in the dispute over last week's chemical weapons attack in Syria and the missile attack ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump in response.

It's suspected that sarin gas was used in an attack on a northern Syrian town at the start of April. "Frankly, Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person", Trump said, referring to Assad.

The three countries insist that the United States and its allies must respect Syria's sovereignty, Lavrov said, stressing that there must be a careful investigation of the chemical weapons incident in Idlib under OPCW auspices.

Later on Friday, Zarif is set to meet with his Russian and Syrian counterparts, Sergey Lavrov and Walid al-Muallem, with whom he will also hold bilateral meetings. Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants warned that any unilateral action by the U.S.is unacceptable.

Russia's proposal on the investigation of Idlib chemical attack is being met with resistance, Lavrov said.

Russian Federation is Syria's ally, and on Wednesday, the country vetoed a United Nations resolution that would have called on Syria to help in an global investigation of the attack.

In some ways, Russia's veto isn't surprising.

While the most immediate US-Russian dispute concerns culpability for the chemical weapons, broader disagreements over everything from Ukraine to Russia's support for once-fringe candidates in European elections are among other sore points. "I think it's hard to imagine".

In his first public comments on the April 6 USA missile attacks, Assad told the Agence France-Presse news agency in Damascus that neither his troops, nor his government's "firepower" has been affected. Moallem said. He added that Russia, Iran and Syria have "common procedures against any aggression", but wouldn't offer any specifics.

"Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists". He said he doesn't have have chemical weapons anymore, and that if he did, he wouldn't use them.

He added that Syria after the US strike will not be the same as before the strike, with Trump administration sending a message that the USA will have a say in how could the crisis be resolved in Syria.

This satellite image released by the U.S. Department of Defense shows a damage assessment image of Shayrat air base in Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk missile strikes, April 7, 2017.

  • Rogelio Becker