The Russian foreign ministry has denounced threats made by the United States envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to strike Syria if the UN Security Council fail to act.
The Russian ministry said in a statement that "such thunderous and irresponsible statements by the American envoy cause resentment and great anxiety" and stressed that "such criminal operations may endanger the lives of Russian military advisers, including officials in the reconciliation centre, located in institutions in Damascus and the Syrian defence ministry sites and in this case necessary measures will be taken to respond to that".
The statement added that Moscow is deeply concerned about information that militants are preparing for a new charade using chemical weapons against civilians and accusing the Syrian government of carrying out the attacks as a prelude to justify US unilateral strikes against Damascus and Syrian government institutions.
The Russian foreign ministry described US statements of support for the political process in Syria with the continued occupation of part of the country's territory as violation of international law and the United Nations Charter.
"Washington, in fact, is making every effort to protect and maintain active terrorist groups near Damascus and other Syrian provinces," the foreign ministry said, adding that Washington is distorting facts regarding the situation in Eastern Ghouta and was silent over terrorist crimes against Ghouta residents and the bombing of residential neighbourhoods in Damascus.