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After Shayrat Strike…Russia Warns of Serious Consequences | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man breathes through an oxygen mask as another one receives treatments, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

Riyadh, Moscow- Tension escalated between Moscow and the West following the Syrian regime chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun and the US response by striking the Shayrat airbase, near Aleppo. Moscow warned on Friday that US cruise missile strikes on the Syrian airbase could have “extremely serious” consequences.

In a remarkable update, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelled a scheduled visit to Moscow on April 10 due to the recent developments in the Syrian crisis.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov carried out a phone call with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and he reiterated Russia’s stance from the striking of Shayrat airbase considering that this step “serves terrorism.”

Russian FM defended the Syrian regime, saying that accusing it of staging a chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun “contradicts with reality.”

However, the Russian capital is still expecting the US Secretary of State.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, in a televised interview, said on Saturday that the US Secretary of State will visit Moscow and “we will see what he has to say.” She added that Russia will stress its rejection to such operations i.e. striking the Shayrat airbase.

Then, Zakharova stated that the current US administration has no clear political dogma.

Meanwhile, Moscow was surprised with the huge Arab support to the transformation in the White House policy so a meeting with the ambassadors of Arab countries was a must to “clarify the Russian stance” in a hope to avoid any consequences on the Russian ties with the majority of Arab states.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov explained in details, during the meeting, principal and consequent Russian approaches to the goal to reach political settlement of the Syrian crisis as soon as possible, also with the US missile strike on Shayrat.