Russia blasts American diplomats’ calls to strike Assad

Russia on Friday condemned a call by American diplomats for military strikes against the Syrian government.

Russian officials criticized the so-called "dissent channel" cable signed by a group of U.S. diplomats urging strikes against President Bashar Al-Assad's regime, which it accuses of persistently violating a shaky ceasefire.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that attempts to overthrow Assad would not "contribute to a successful fight against terrorism".

"This could plunge the region into complete chaos," Peskov warned, according to the AFP news agency.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that attacks against the Syrian regime would be "at odds with (UN) resolutions".

"We need to negotiate and reach a political resolution on the basis of international law, which was agreed upon at the UN Security Council," the Interfax news agency quoted Bogdanov as saying.

The cable calls for "a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons", according to the New York Times, laying bare stark divisions in Washington policy circles on the Syrian conflict.

Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement that the American diplomatic cable could "not but cause concern to any sane person".

Moscow in September launched a bombing campaign in Syria to support long-time ally Assad, and the West has accused Russian forces of targeting the opposition with air strikes in an effort to prop up the regime.

A U.S. official in Washington, requesting anonymity, on Thursday accused Russia of bombing American-backed fighters in southern Syria.

The Russian defense ministry said in a statement late Thursday that it carried out no air strikes on groups that had cooperated with Russia or the United States in the previous 24 hours.

Washington and Moscow have publicly vowed to work together to persuade Assad to negotiate a settlement with his opponents, but the U.S. has frequently expressed exasperation about what it sees as Russia's less than full commitment.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/213780

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