Saturday, 18 August, 2018

U.S. would not attack Syria over gas attack allegations: Syrian lawmaker

Russia news USA latest Syria GETTYRussia issues warning to Trump Any US missiles fired at Syria will shot down and launch sites hit
Melinda Barton | 15 April, 2018, 20:10

In response, Trump tweeted that while Russian Federation vowed to protect Syria against attack, "Get ready Russian Federation, because [attacks] will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" Where is our "Thank you America"?", he said. We will see what happens.

"Now we have to make some further decisions, so they will be made fairly soon", added first-term commander-in-chief, who earlier appeared to equivocate on the timing of strikes.

"Any possible action will only cause more instability in the region and threaten worldwide security and peace", Syrian state TV quoted Assad as saying at a meeting with a high-level Iranian delegation in Damascus on Thursday. "Numerous, large-scale attacks on another country without Congressional authorisation are unconstitutional, and they push the United States closer to what could be an interminable, all-out conflict in Syria".

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", said Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia following closed-door Security Council talks.

US President Donald Trump is weighing all options on the table with regard to Syria as he holds the Syrian regime and Russian Federation responsible for the latest chemical weapons attack, the White House said today, adding that no final decision has been taken yet on the military response.

USA officials have refused to rule out direct military engagement with Russian Federation, with the White House saying "all options are on the table". "If it's Russian Federation, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out and we'll know the answers quite soon", he pledged Monday.

Velayati supported Assad's stance, adding that threats by some Western countries to attack Syria are "based on lies after the liberation of Eastern Ghouta".

A top leader of Jaish al-Islam, a group which controlled Douma for years, told AFP it was Saturday's attack that forced them to accept a Russian-brokered deal and evacuate.

But Moscow, Syria's main backer in the seven-year civil war, immediately demanded an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, saying the Western powers had violated "the U.N. charter and the norms and principles of worldwide law".

The council has already failed to agree on a response to the attack in three votes and has been deadlocked throughout the Syrian civil war. She called the Syrian government a "murderous regime".

Theresa May is convening an emergency Cabinet meeting to authorise a military response against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's forces. Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration will follow whatever laws and regulations were necessary for any actions that it takes.

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a USA strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress.

National security experts anxious about whether strikes would actually serve to deter Assad.

However, US Defence Secretary James Mattis struck a more cautious tone later on Wednesday, saying that Washington was still assessing intelligence on the suspected toxic gas attack.

The same officials say Syria has continued to produce or procure chlorine, which also has industrial and agricultural uses.

Mr. Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the worldwide fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible.

The OPCW, which works to rid the world of chemical arms stockpiles, said its experts were on their way to Syria and will start their work on Saturday.