MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman called on the UN Security Council on Thursday to ensure the protection of foreign civilians in Syria.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich cited the killing of a Russian woman by her Syrian husband as evidence that calls by opposition members to consider Russian nationals a “legitimate target” are being put into practice.
“We urge the UN Security Council to respond by issuing a stern call for the Syrian opposition to stop threats and attacks on foreign nationals not involved in the armed conflict in Syria,” he said.
He also called on states supporting the Syrian opposition “to take all necessary measures required to release kidnapped citizens of Russia and nationals of ‘third states.’”
Haitham al-Maleh, a leader of the Syrian opposition abroad, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Russian citizens “present legitimate targets for militants in Syria” because Russia allegedly provides the President Bashar al-Assad’s government with weapons and ammunition.
“Media reports about the family tragedy in Aleppo – the murder of a Russian woman by her Syrian husband – show that those calls are being put into practice, including as cover for criminal offences,” Lukashevich said.
He said that such statements, which, “in essence, demonstrate support for terrorist activities,” are becoming increasingly dangerous against the backdrop of ongoing insurgent activity and the encouragement illegal armed groups are receiving from a number of Western and regional powers, he said.