Russia says Obama 'red line' on Syria provoked attacks

Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov sits during a meeting at the United Nations Security Council on Syria at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, NY, U.S. April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia said former U.S. President Barack Obama’s threat of military action if a “red line” was crossed and chemical weapons were used in Syria had provoked such attacks.

“That decision served as a starting point for future provocations by terrorists and extremist structures with the use of chemical weapons, they sought to discredit the official Damascus regime and to create a pretext for the use of military force against a sovereign state,” Deputy Russian U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the U.N. Security Council.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama