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Russia, Iran, And Syria Issue Warning To U.S.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (center), Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem (left), and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow on April 14.

Russia, Syria, and Iran warned the United States on April 14 against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international probe into a chemical attack there earlier this month.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts at a trilateral meeting in Moscow, called last week's U.S. strike on a Syrian military base a "flagrant violation" of international law and warned that any further such action would entail "grave consequences not only for regional but global security."

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the meeting sent a "strong message" to Washington. Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants warned that any unilateral action by the U.S. is unacceptable.

Washington has blamed the Syrian government for launching a deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun that killed more than 80 people on April 4, and responded by striking a Syrian air base.

Moscow and Damascus have said the victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal and warned against putting the blame on Syria until an independent inquiry has been conducted.

Russia has been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most important backer and has been involved in military operations on the side of Assad's government since September 2015.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa