Sunday, 19 August, 2018


Strikes hit Syria as country had 'chance for peaceful future': Moscow

Syrians wave Russian Syrian and Iranian flags during a protest against U.S.-led air strikes in Damascus Strikes hit Syria as country had 'chance for peaceful future': Moscow
Bennie Garza | 15 April, 2018, 13:33

U.S., British and French forces pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week, in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to a statement by Macron's office on Friday, he said in the phone call with Putin that "he wanted the dialogue between France and Russian Federation to continue and intensify in order to bring peace and stability to Syria".

Russian Federation also said this week that any United States missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted.

The US, France, and Britain announced a joint operation against Syria's government, a week after a suspected chemical attack outside the capital Damascus left more than 40 people dead.

Syrians who had been bracing for US strikes for three nights in a row said the mood in the capital, Damascus, was palpably relaxing, with residents increasingly shrugging off the threat as the days passed. "Therefore, we hope for wisdom and foresight from Russian lawmakers", VSMPO-Avisma told TASS news agency. "I can't go beyond that", Sanders told reporters.

A U.K. Foreign Office spokesperson said: "Russia has wielded its United Nations security council veto six times since February 2017 to shield the Assad regime from scrutiny for its use of chemical weapons".

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that "nice and new and 'smart!'" missiles would be coming Syria's way, and that Russian Federation should "get ready".

"Certainly for domestic consumption they ve got to look like they re not rolling over for Israel, for the United States or for France or whoever else".

In the UK, Cabinet ministers said that it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was responsible for the attack. "Our warnings have been left unheard". Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defense ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.

"God forbid anything adventurous will be done in Syria following the Libyan and Iraqi experience", Mr Lavrov said.

In March Russia's General Staff said that rebels were planning a "provocation" in Eastern Ghouta with women and children set to play victims of a chemical attack.

"We continue to observe unsafe military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the UN Security Council.

In his televised remarks announcing the strikes, Trump sent a message to Russian Federation and Iran, Assad's key allies.

The capture of Douma from rebels who evacuated this week has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a center of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his seemingly unassailable position in the war.

On Thursday, Trump held a meeting with his national security team, but White House officials say no final decisions have been made.

"The cold war is back - with a vengeance", United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Friday as the U.S. and Russian Federation remained at loggerheads over Syria.

"So, in theory, all of us agree on the core principle at stake today: no country can be allowed to use chemical weapons with impunity", Haley said. A US guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

The intervention was the biggest strike by Western powers against Assad in the country's seven-year-old civil war and pitted the United States and its allies against Russian Federation, which itself intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad.

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