Russia Says Priority in Syria to Avert Danger of War
Russia Says Priority in Syria to Avert Danger of War
16 April, 2018, 13:42
UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump agreed on the need to deter chemical weapon use in Syria.
Meanwhile, Syrian state media said USA -led air strikes caused material damage only at a scientific research centre in the Barzeh district of Damascus on Friday. The United States, France and Britain fired 105 missiles overnight in retaliation, targeting Syria's chemical weapons program.
But US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis struck a cautious note, telling lawmakers that the need to "stop the murder of innocent people" had to be weighed up against the risk of things "escalating out of control".
Pierce said she wanted "to state categorically ... that Britain has no involvement and would never have any involvement in the use of a chemical weapon".
Syria's Bashar al-Assad has been backed in the seven-year-long Syrian war by Russia, Iran, and Iran-backed Shi'ite groups from across the region, including Lebanon's Hezbollah.
A fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is expected to arrive in Douma on Saturday.
The US and its allies believe the Syrian regime was behind the attack, but Russian Federation has long insisted that it was staged by rebels in an attempt to provoke further Western intervention.
Turkey, an important player in the Syrian conflict, said it viewed the airstrikes as "an appropriate response" to the Douma attack.
General Igor Konashenkov, another spokesman for Russia's defence ministry, claims Russian intelligence has strong evidence which proves Great Britain had knowledge of and direct involvement in the attack.
On Thursday, US officials said they had blood and urine samples from victims which had tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent, according to a NBC Newsreport.
Russian Federation and Syria also clashed with the three Western allies over the legality of the airstrikes and responsibility for the Security Council's paralysis.
Russian Federation has countered that the US-led action was aimed at overthrowing Assad and keeping Moscow's influence in check. "We thank them both", Trump added.
Russian Federation accused Washington of putting worldwide peace at risk and requested a United Nations meeting in NY later in the day but it was not confirmed that it will happen.
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Saturday's strikes on Syria were the first major military operation since Macron's election in May a year ago . In telephone calls before Saturday's airstrikes, Macron said he had persuaded Trump not to pull out of Syria.
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