New Western Syria strikes would spark ‘chaos’: Putin tells Rouhani

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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speaks with US NBC news network anchor Megyn Kelly at the Kremlin on March 1, 2018 in Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Alexei Druzhinin

New Western air strikes in Syria would provoke “chaos” in international relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Sunday.

Speaking to Rouhani by telephone the day after US-led strikes on suspected chemical weapons facilities, Putin said “if such actions, carried out in violation of the United Nations Charter, are repeated, that would inevitably provoke chaos in international relations,” according to a statement from the Kremlin.

The two leaders “found that this illegal action seriously damaged the prospects of a political settlement in Syria,” the statement said.

The United States, France and Britain on Saturday launched strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s government a week after an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, just east of the capital Damascus.

Putin denounced on Saturday “with the utmost firmness” the strikes which he described as “an act of aggression against a sovereign state which is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism”.