Russia, Iran, Turkey Criticize Western Airstrikes on Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that airstrikes on Syria, conducted by the U.S., Britain, and France on April 14, were a violation of international law and indicated that the Western powers were trying to destroy the peace process.
Lavrov, speaking after meeting in Moscow with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, said such “attempts to … destabilize the situation” encourage the extremists in Syria to go on with their armed struggle.
Lavrov and his counterparts said they agreed that Syria’s territorial integrity should be preserved, while accusing the United States of plans to “reformat” the Middle East and divide Syria into parts.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif said there was no military solution to the Syrian crisis. He also said that Iran condemned the use of chemical weapons and hoped that the investigation of an alleged Syrian attack on its own people would uncover the truth. He also said anyone who supported Iraq when it used chemical weapons against Iran in the 1980s had no right to criticize Syria today.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country, too, supported Syrian territorial integrity and, with allies Iran and Russia, hoped ultimately to find a political solution to the crisis. He said “some groups” had tried to undermine that work, and he urged all parties to contribute to the peace process instead.