“If there is a strike by the Americans then… the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” he told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.
He also said a clash “should be ruled out and therefore we are ready to hold negotiations”.
Video: Trump says Putin will ‘pay a price’ if responsible for Syria chemical attack (IBT)
The Russian military said on 13 March it would respond to any US strike on Syria, targeting any missiles and launchers involved in such an attack.
Responding to the ambassador’s comments, General Sir Richard Barrons, who led the UK’s Joint Forces Command from 2013 to 2016, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I hope the ambassador has chosen his words very carefully because what he’s actually saying is that if the US and allies decide to strike against Syrian chemical weapons and delivery aircraft, not only are they going to try and shoot down the missiles in flight – which they’re capable of doing, but won’t be with total success – but by saying the words ‘launch platforms’, he’s saying they are going to try and sink ships, sink submarines and shoot aircraft out of the sky – that’s war.”
The prospect of military action against Bashar al-Assad’s government prompted European airspace authorities to warn planes to be careful when flying close to Syria.
The Eurocontrol airspace organisation said the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had sent a “Rapid Alert Notification” that flight operations covering Cyprus and the surrounding skies needed to consider the possibility of air or missile strikes into Syria.
In a notice posted to Eurocontrol’s website, EASA said: “Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken.”
More than 20 flights are due to take off from the UK to Cyprus on Wednesday, including ones provided by British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair.
On Tuesday, Russia and the US blocked each other’s attempts in the UN Security Council to set up international investigations into suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
Each country placed a resolution before the security council to vote on. The US text was vetoed by Russia, while the Russian text was not adopted because it did not gain enough votes.
The diplomatic clash came after Syria invited a mission from the international chemical weapons watchdog to investigate the suspected poison gas attack near Damascus over the weekend.
Its foreign ministry said it would help the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in a fact-finding mission into the alleged attack, which opposition activists say killed 40 people.
The Syrian government and its Russian backers deny it used chemical weapons in Douma, the last rebel-held town in the eastern Ghouta suburbs.
The White House announced on Tuesday Donald Trump would skip an upcoming summit in South America and instead remain in the US to “oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world”.
The US president promised to respond “forcefully” to the alleged chemical attack, and that the US had “a lot of options militarily”.
“We can’t let atrocities like we all witnessed… we can’t let that happen in our world… especially when we’re able to because of the power of the United States, the power of our country, we’re able to stop it,” he said.
Theresa May joined Mr Trump in calling for a response to the Syrian regime’s latest use of chemical weapons, “if confirmed”.
In separate phone calls, Ms May, Mr Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron agreed the international community should work together to hold Mr Assad’s government and its backers to account.
Of the calls, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “They agreed that reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria were utterly reprehensible and, if confirmed, represented further evidence of the Assad regime’s appalling cruelty against its own people and total disregard for its legal obligations not to use these weapons.
Slideshow: World’s most powerful military nations (GES)
46. South Africa
31. Czech Republic
24. Saudi Arabia
23. North Korea
11. South Korea
6. United Kingdom
1. United States
“They agreed that the international community needed to respond to uphold the worldwide prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. They agreed they would continue working closely together and with international partners to ensure that those responsible were held to account.”
Dozens of buses carrying hundreds of rebel fighters, along with family members and civilians who did not wish to come back under Assad’s rule, left Douma for opposition areas near Aleppo on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The deal restores Mr Assad’s control over the whole of eastern Ghouta – formerly the biggest rebel bastion near Damascus.
As part of the surrender deal, the Jaish al-Islam group that controlled the town released scores of people it had been holding.