As reported by Censor.NET citing Reuters, in comments broadcast on Tuesday evening, the Russian diplomat said he was referring to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian armed forces chief of staff.
The Russian military said on March 13 that it would respond to any U.S. strike on Syria, targeting any missiles and launchers involved in such an attack. Russia is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally.
The United States and its allies are considering whether to hit Syria over a suspected poison gas attack that medical relief organizations say killed dozens of people in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus on Saturday.
"If there is a strike by the Americans, then...the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired," Zasypkin told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, speaking in Arabic. He also said a clash "should be ruled out and therefore we are ready to hold negotiations".
Russia and the United States blocked attempts by each other in the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to set up international investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday canceled a planned trip to Latin America later this week to focus instead on responding to the Syria incident, the White House said. Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack was established.
Syrian activist groups on Saturday said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped from helicopters over a rebel-held city in Syria killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more. Syrian state news said an "official source" denied the allegations.
In the early hours of Monday morning, Syria State TV reported that "several missiles" had been fired at the T4 air base in Homs, in the country's west, adding that it was "likely an attack by the U.S." The Pentagon issued a statement Sunday denying it was conducting air strikes in the region.
On April 9, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said that Moscow had warned the United States of "grave repercussions" if it carries out an attack against Syrian government forces over reports of a deadly chemical weapons attack.
"There was no chemical weapons attack," Nebenzia told the U.N. Security Council.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council that Washington "will respond" to the attack on a rebel-held town in Syria regardless of whether the United Nations Security Council acts or not.
"We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done," Reuters quoted Haley as saying.
"History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria," she said. "Either way, the United States will respond."