Saber-Rattling against Syria Tramples on UN Charter: Zakharova

MOSCOW-Threats to use force against Syria blatantly violate the United Nations Charter, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"A threat to use force against a UN member state is, in itself, a blatant violation of the organization’s charter," she said. "This is the organization the US ambassador to the United Nations has been so active in, thus confirming its legitimacy," Zakharova added, according to Itra Tass.

Given the statements we’ve been hearing from the US ambassador, we would like to have an answer to the following question: will a threat to use force against a sovereign state be legitimate? To say nothing of how far Syria has come in the fight against international terrorism, struggling to protect its sovereignty," Zakharova noted.

 Extremist groups are determined to derail the peace process in Syria and are prepared to resort to extreme measures, she added.

"The extremists have intensified their activities against the backdrop of the achievements of the negotiation methods to resolve the situation in Eastern Ghouta, which have made it possible to save thousands of ordinary Syrians’ lives. They are obviously not interested in such a solution. Their sponsors, who, as experience shows, are ready for extreme steps to realize their interests in Syria and who have nothing to do with the genuine interests of the Syrian people, have become more active as well," she said.

According to Zakharova, accusations against Syrian government troops of the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma are an attempt to sabotage the peaceful settlement process in that country.

WHO statement

Zakharova also said  that Russia regards the World Health Organization’s statement on Syria’s Douma as misinformation fanning tensions in the country.

"We regard the WHO statement as an instance of irresponsible dissemination of groundless misinformation, which incites those eager to foment the intra-Syrian conflict into taking more aggressive action," she said.

"We urge the WHO to be more impartial and rely not on biased, repeatedly discredited sources in drafting its reports and statements, but on the opinion of experts capable of making the corresponding conclusions after fundamental research," Zakharova said.

 WHO released allegations that almost 500 people asked for medical help in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7 with symptoms of poisoning, said Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva

Syria facing threats

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said that Washington had "a lot of options militarily" on Syria in light of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

Allegations about an April 7 chemical weapons attack in Douma were spread by a number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets.

The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed those allegations as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they were known for spreading fabricated news.

On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria visited Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons.

Russian officials many times warned about impending provocations and staged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.