UPDATE: The Russian military alleged on Friday that the chemical attack was “staged,” under the direction of Britain:
BREAKING: The Russian military says that an alleged chemical attack in Syria was staged and directed by Britain.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 13, 2018
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov cautioned against intervention in Syria on Friday, saying that such an action would create a new surge in migration into Europe, while making a veiled reference to the United States.
Even small acts, Lavrov was quoted by wire agencies as saying, could “lead to new waves of migrants to Europe and a lot of other developments that aren’t at all needed, either by us or our European neighbors.”
Intervention “can only gratify those who are protected by an ocean,” he added, in an apparent swipe at the US, which has been spared the burden of dealing with refugees from conflict zones in the Middle East, despite its own military’s involvement in the region’s various crises.
US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering military options following allegations that the Bashar al-Assad regime conducted a chemical weapons attack. Trump surprised officials in his own administration this week when he warned on Twitter that missiles “will be coming,” to Syria, before backtracking to say a decision has not been made.
Lavrov also said on Friday that he had “irrefutable evidence” that the purported chemical attack was staged as part of a “Russophobic campaign” led by one country. He did not initially say which country, though it was later reported that the Russian military alleged the attack was staged under direction of Britain.
News reports indicate that the Trump administration is leaning toward taking action as part of a coalition with allies, including the UK and France, in lieu of going through the United Nations Security Council, over which Russia holds veto power.