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'Matter should be resolved through dialogue': India on US strikes in Syria

By Vikas

With the United States and allies having carried out missile strikes in Syria, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday (April 14) said "all parties" must show restraint so that the situation does not escalate further.

The US, UK and France have launched a coordinated strike by firing over a 100 missiles on, what Trump described as, targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

"We urge all Parties to show restraint and to avoid any further escalation in the situation. The matter should be resolved through dialogue & negotiations and on the basis of the principles of the UN Charter the in accordance with international law," an MEA statement said.

"We have taken note of the recent strikes in Syria. India is closely following the situation. The alleged use of chemical weapons, if true, is deplorable. We call for an impartial and objective investigation by the OPCW to establish the facts," the statement added.

The strikes mark the second time Trump ordered attacks against Syria to punish Assad's government.

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pledged to retaliate for what it described as a "fabricated" chemical gas attack.

Russia had previously threatened to shoot down U.S. missiles and aircraft that threaten the lives of Russian personnel in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said Russia will call an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, where it is a permanent member, over Western strikes on Syria.

It still remains to be seen how Moscow would react. There are fears that the situation may escalate, sparking a military clash between Russia and the US. Experts are divided over the matter, however, the danger of a clash still exists, as Russia's foreign ministry has warned repeatedly that strikes can lead to "the most grave consequences." A worst-case-scenario could see the war spill beyond Syria's borders and embroil many of the world's key military powers. Britain and France have indicated support for US air strikes. And with Russian and Iranian forces against them, it's not so far fetched to think an escalation in the war could be a precursor to world war three.

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