11 June 2017
The Russian foreign ministry said on Saturday that it had warned the U.S. against striking pro-Assad forces, as it continues its campaign in supporting the brutal dictator.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, issued the warning to U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in a phone call on Saturday initiated by the U.S. side, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
This comes after an Iranian-backed militia in Syria issued a stark warning to U.S. forces on Wednesday, threatening to attack U.S. positions if Washington crossed “red lines”, mocking former U.S. president Barack Obama’s empty threats of consequences of Assad and his allies crossing “red lines” as they conduct countless massacres in Syria.
U.S. officials told Reuters last month that the U.S. military carried out the airstrike against militia groups supported by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, saying it posed a threat to U.S. forces and U.S.-backed fighters in southern Syria.
The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.
According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.
The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.