Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Britain's United Nations ambassador denies Russian accusation over alleged chemical attack in Syria

US President Donald Trump's threat of military retaliation in Syria have raised risks of a direct confrontation with Russia US President Donald Trump's threat of military retaliation in Syria have raised risks of a direct confrontation with Russia
Melinda Barton | 14 April, 2018, 22:03

"We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences".

"Again, we are being threatened".

The war of words between the USA and Russian Federation over Syria's use of chemical weapons against its own people has escalated.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said the United Kingdom and France had joined in the attack.

But he also appeared anxious to avoid a wider conflict, saying France would "in no way allow an escalation".

What is less clear is whether sarin - the agent used in the chemical attack last April that prompted U.S. missile strikes - or a similar agent was also used.

Haley also said that Russian Federation used its veto power to protect the Assad regime and prevented the punishment of those who use chemical weapons in Syria.

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are expected to arrive in Syria over the weekend to investigate the reported attack, following an invitation from Damascus.

"Our President has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria".

"This is grotesque, it is a blatant lie, it is the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian propaganda machine", Pierce told reporters.

He went on to say that the alleged chemical attack in Douma is just an American pretext and he blamed the Syrian opposition, not the Assad regime, for it.

The Syria crisis has come as a test not only for Trump, but incoming White House national security adviser John Bolton, a hawk who joined Trump's team this week. Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defence ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.

The Russian defence ministry said today that none of the Western strikes in Syria had hit areas covered by Russia's air defences around its air base and naval facility.

The U.N. Security Council has rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the United States and its allies against Syria.

USA allies have offered strong words of support for Washington but no clear military plans have yet emerged.

The capture of Douma has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a centre of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his unassailable position in the war.

British Prime Minister Theresa May won backing from her senior ministers on Thursday to take unspecified action with the United States and France to deter further use of chemical weapons by Syria. A US guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.