Thursday, 19 April, 2018


Russia denounces Syria strike

Donald Trump and his ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley Donald Trump and his ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
Kristine Garrett | 17 April, 2018, 05:11

Syria and Russian Federation are not allowing a fact-finding mission by the world's chemical weapons watchdog to enter Douma to investigate an alleged poisonous gas attack, a British diplomat said on Monday.

Trump said the strikes were meant to deter the use of chemical weapons like the attack on civilians in the Syrian town of Douma last week, and that the US was prepared to continue the attacks until the Syrian regime stops using chemical weapons. Moscow strongly warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj.

Both Syria and Russian Federation have denied using chemical weapons and have blamed the rebels on using it on themselves to whip up global condemnation. The statement said none of the patients had any symptoms of chemical poisoning.

"We did have some surface-to-air missile activity from the Syrian regime", General and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said at a Pentagon briefing.

Nevertheless, experts say the Russian "red line" would be the safety of its own forces, which are based alongside their Syrian and sometimes Iranian comrades in many areas of western Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he had discussed with his U.S. and Russian counterparts potential steps for peace in Syria and to lighten the mood, after a series of phone calls in recent days.

But Guterres said Syria today is the most serious, and "there is no military solution to the conflict".

The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and unsafe actions ... that would have consequences beyond conjecture".

President Vladimir Putin said that the military action launched by the USA, in cooperation with Britain and France, was "an act of aggression" against a sovereign state and strongly condemned the act. France is reported to be one of the strongest backers of a possible strike which Russian Federation strongly opposes.

"Russia and Syria must cooperate".

British ambassador Wilson urged the OPCW "to act to hold perpetrators to account", saying failure to do so "will only risk further barbaric use of chemical weapons, in Syria and beyond".

He met his national security team on the situation in Syria later in the day and "no final decision has been made", the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

According to a statement of the French presidency, Macron calls for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

The U.S., France and Britain have been consulting about launching a military strike in Syria.

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", he added.

Iran also warned of "regional consequences" following the attacks.

GETTYRussia vs USA: Are we going to war with Russian Federation?

Trump, who unleashed a one-off USA cruise missile salvo a year ago in response to a chemical attack blamed on Assad's forces, reacted with fury and threatened a renewed intervention. Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defense ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said. The Kremlin readout said that Putin warned against rushing to blame the Syrian government before conducting a "thorough and objective probe". Syria's government denies responsibility. He criticised the United States and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for inspectors from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog to visit the area.

"However. any action that would lead to the failure or harm activities led by Turkey, Iran and Russian Federation toward a lasting peace should be avoided", Yildirim said.

A government-organised media tour did not include the building where, according to rescue workers and medics who were in town at the time, dozens of people were killed by poison gas. The Syrian government has denied the allegations.

Targeted sites were largely empty, and were all said to be facilities for chemical weapons storage or production. He says Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication".

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Lavrov reiterated a strong warning to the West against military action in Syria. He didn't elaborate or name the state.

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