A leading Russian diplomat has condemned those advocating military intervention against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose war against rebels and jihadis has recently escalated in the last insurgent-held suburbs of Damascus.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Monday that such military action would violate United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401, which was passed Sunday. It calls for a 30-day cessation of hostilities among warring parties in the eastern Ghouta region outside the Syrian capital. Before it was passed, Russia successfully lobbied to include language in the document that exempted operations against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (successor to former Al-Qaeda branch the Nusra Front) and other groups considered terrorist organizations by the council.
“We are seriously alarmed by the reports that amid the overall increase in the rhetoric against Damascus and anti-Russian rhetoric in Washington threats are heard again of using force, which is unlawful,” Ryabkov said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.
“They are searching for pretexts and this fully runs counter to the meaning and content of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2401,” he added.