Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber
© Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation / Sputnik
Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber
Moscow is ready to respond if lives of the Russian servicemen are endangered, including by strikes on Damascus, head of Russia's General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.

"There are many Russian advisers, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and [Russian] servicemen in Damascus and at Syrian defense facilities," Gerasimov stated.

However, in case lives of Russian military personnel are put in danger, the Russian Armed Forces will respond with certain measure to both "missiles" and "lauchers" which are delivering these projectiles.

Russian MoD says it has information that militants in Syria are planning to stage chemical attacks against civilians under the guise of the Syrian government. According to Gerasimov, they have already sent 'civilians' in Eastern Ghouta who will 'play victims' of chemical attacks. Members of the White Helmets and film crews are already there, he pointed out.

Following "the chemical attack," the US will accuse the Syrian government of targeting Eastern Ghouta. What's more, according to Gerasimov, it will come up with "'the evidence' of mass killings of Syrian civilians at the hands of Damascus and Russia, which supports the Syrian government." In response, Washington will strike the government quarters of Damascus, the general has alleged.

On Monday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned that Washington will take action in Syria on its own if the UN Security Council fails to do so. When the UNSC "failed to act" after the Khan Sheikhoun chemical incident in 2017, the US "successfully struck the airbase from which Assad had launched his chemical attack," Haley stated.

The US diplomat once again claimed that Russia and Damascus continue to bomb "innocent civilians" under a pretext of fighting terrorism. However, Russia's envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia dismissed the allegations, saying that Western countries use the situation in Eastern Ghouta only as a pretext to put pressure on Russia and blindly put the blame on Damascus for any incidents in the country.

Also on Monday, Nebenzia accused militant groups in the city of using chlorine gas. He added that the Syrian operation in the Damascus suburbs does not violate resolution 2401, as it exempts terrorists.

"They [militants] are constantly striking humanitarian corridors and checkpoints, including during the humanitarian pauses,"Nebenzia stated. "They intensified the use of tunnels in order to provoke the Syrian military and the exits of those tunnels are in the areas of public buildings, first and foremost mosques, hospitals and markets."