The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky has called for Moscow to carry out “retaliatory strikes” against the U.S. in response to the Trump administration’s air strike on Syria.
“This was all planned,” said Zhirinovsky, asserting that the chemical weapons incident was a “provocation in advance” to justify the U.S. air strike and that the gas attack was staged by jihadist rebels.
Adding that the goal was to “overthrow Assad” and undermine Russian influence in the country, Zhirinovsky said Syria had the right to defend itself with retaliatory strikes.
Noting that the agreement that Russian and U.S. fighter planes would not target each other over Syrian airspace has been cancelled, Zhirinovsky went further, calling for Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems to cover the entire country as well as for more warships to be sent to the region.
Zhirinovsky, a member of Russia’s state Duma, also demanded that Moscow declare partial mobilization and put its strategic missile forces in a state of high combat readiness while demanding that “retaliatory strikes” be carried out against U.S. armed forces in Syria “if they continue aggressive actions” against Syrian troops or Bashar Al-Assad.
“So they would know, that they will not be allowed to destroy Syrian armed forces like this – with impunity,” he added.
Zhirinovsky chided, “Americans are envious of our success, and they have only had military defeats since 1945,” adding that Trump may have been “misinformed” or “misled” into carrying out the air strike.
“This confrontation is going to last for a long time and this is a battleground between the U.S. and Russia,” he concluded.
Zhirinovsky is a controversial figure, but his rhetoric is not that far removed from a joint statement by Russia and Iran in which the two countries vowed to “respond to any (future) aggression” in Syria.
Meanwhile, former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford told BBC News that the air strike could actually motivate jihadists to stage further chemical weapons attacks.
“Trump has just given the jihadis a thousand reasons to stage fake flag operations,” said Ford. “Seeing how successful and how easy it is with a gullible media to provoke the West into intemperate reactions.”
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