The Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov. © TASS

The Russian Defense Ministry’s warning about Moscow’s right to respond to an American attack on Damascus supports the danger of a direct confrontation between the two countries in Syria. But experts dismiss such risk-taking on the part of the United States.

According to the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Washington plans to launch an attack with missiles and bombs against the government districts of Damascus and Eastern Ghouta. Russian Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Valery Guerasimov stressed that Russian army officers are present in Damascus at the Syrian Ministry of Defense.

“At the same time, Russian military advisers, members of the Russian Reconciliation Center for the conflict camps and military policemen are staying at the Ministry of Defense in Damascus. In the event of a threat to the lives of our soldiers, the Russian armed forces will retaliate against both the missiles and the military assets that will fire them, “he said.

Experts say the Americans will not risk hitting an area where Russian troops are for fear of provoking Moscow.

According to General Gerassimov, Russia has concrete facts about the preparations for the staging of the use of chemical weapons against civilians by government forces. After provocations, the United States plans to accuse Syrian government forces of using chemical weapons. He added that the United States intends to “provide the so-called” alleged “evidence of mass casualties of civilians, incumbent upon the Syrian government and the Russian leaders who support it,” the Tass news agency reported. .

Lavrov warns of heavy consequences of a military scenario against Damascus

On Monday, at a Security Council meeting on the implementation of resolution 2401 on the ceasefire in Syria, Nikki Haley, the Permanent Representative of the United States, accused the Syrian and Russian governments of not respect the resolution. It threatened that if the Syrian government forces’ military actions in the outskirts of Damascus did not stop, a new US military action against Bashar al-Assad would be possible.

For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also warned the United States on Tuesday of the consequences of their new military scenario. “In this case, the consequences will be heavy and dangerous,” he said.

The United States is unlikely to attack an area where Russian troops are deployed

Russian observers believe that in the event of an attack by the United States, it is possible that the US Army is once again resorting to Tomahawk missiles.

“The Americans will certainly not conduct air strikes, but will use their Tomahawk missiles,” said Kirill Simonov, director of the Islamic Research Center of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. The problem is that from the Mediterranean, Russia is unlikely to be able to do anything to prevent this and does not have the necessary power to thwart an offensive against Damascus. ”

General Guerassimov’s statements are also in favor of unilateral action by the United States. If the United States really decided to hit Syria, they would target an area without harming Russian military troops, as happened during the attack on Shayrat Air Base, the expert said.

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