April 11, 2018 / 9:30 AM / 3 months ago

Kremlin, worried about possible U.S. strike, calls for restraint on Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday it hoped all sides involved in Syria would avoid doing anything that could destabilise an already fragile situation in the Middle East and made clear it was strongly opposed to a possible U.S. strike on its ally.

A Syrian soldier loyal to President Bashar al Assad is seen outside eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki/Files

The United States and its allies are considering whether to hit Syria over a suspected poison gas attack that medical relief organisations say killed dozens of people in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus on Saturday.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out the chemical weapons attack were not based on real facts and said it wanted an impartial investigation into the incident.

Asked about comments by Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon who said that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted, the Kremlin said it did not want to comment on such matters.

“As before, we would like to hope that all sides will avoid any steps that a) are not provoked by anything and b) could significantly destabilise an already fragile situation in the region,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Katya Golubkova

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