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Russian Ambassador Warns of ‘Danger of War’ with U.S. Over Syria

Vassily Nebenzia Li Muzi / Imago / TASS

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia urged the United States and its allies on Thursday to refrain from military action against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack and said the "immediate priority is to avert the danger of war."

Worries about a confrontation between Russia, Syria's big ally, and the West have been running high since Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, and lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Asked if he was referring to a war between the United States and Russia, Nebenzia told reporters: "We cannot exclude any possibilities unfortunately because we saw the messages that are coming from Washington. They were very bellicose."

"They know we are there, I wish there was dialogue through the proper channels on this to avert any dangerous developments," he said. 

"The danger of escalation is higher than simply Syria because our military are there ... So the situation is very dangerous."

Meanwhile, Russia has called for the United Nations Security Council to meet on Friday to discuss Syria and has requested that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres publicly brief the 15-member body, diplomats said on Thursday.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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