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United States says has proof of Syria chemical attack

16 April, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • RTX5LO4X

Loud explosions ripped through Syria's capital early Saturday and the sky turned orange as Syrian air defence units fired surface-to-air missiles in response to joint airstrikes by the United States, France and Britain.

Russian officials condemned the US -led airstrikes on three sites in Syria early Saturday, calling the attacks "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace".

The draft law on Russia's measures in response to U.S. sanctions contains a ban on the imports of American agricultural products, as well as alcohol and tobacco products, First Vice-Speaker of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov said.

Worries about a confrontation between Russia, Syria's big ally, and the West have been running high since Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, and lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It was not clear whether Trump and U.S. allies would wait for the results of the investigation before deciding on a strike.

The allied operation comes a year after a US missile strike that Trump said was meant to deter Assad from further use of chemical weapons.

Guterres said, "Any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent".

Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the USA, said, "We are being threatened". The US and its allies, Nebenzia alleged, are setting the stage to "unleash a military scenario against Syria". Her father remains hospitalized but British health officials say he is improving. And added, "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents". British officials said up to 75 people were killed.

The investigators, who are only mandated to determine if chemical weapons were used and not who used them, were expected to start their investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based organization said. "Why is it that this particular Douma attack was the straw that broke the camel's back for President Trump?" Mr. Trump called out Putin along with the leadership in Iran for backing Assad, who he referred to as "Animal Assad".




Moscow's ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned on Wednesday that any USA missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted. Their reach was demonstrated in February when an Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashed amid Syrian antiaircraft fire.

"This bill is about banning or restricting the import of agricultural products, raw materials and food, the country of origin of which is the United States", First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov told RIA Novosti.

The U.S., United Kingdom and France are all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Moscow may consider supplying S-300 surface to-air missile systems to Syria and "other countries", Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi told a televised briefing on Saturday. The Syrian government said it would facilitate the mission's investigation.

"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria under no circumstances", he said.

"Fundamentally the U.S.is going to have to prove does it have a goal in Syria", and that it has an endgame in mind, Taleblu added.

In the near term, the military strike appeared to ramp up a searing war of words between Washington and Moscow, which regarded the action as a attack on Russian Federation itself. French Defense Minister Florence Parly said that "with our allies, we ensured that the Russians were warned ahead of time". More broadly, he doubted the wisdom of bombing. "That's the whole point of a punitive attack".

No matter what the president authorizes, it will be hard for Washington to enforce battlefield norms in Syria when Trump has called for disengaging from the conflict.

The White House said such targeted sanctions would help to ensure that Russian oligarchs profiting from the Kremlin's destabilising activities, including its interference of Western democratic elections in 2016 and 2017, would face consequences for their actions.

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