Friday, 21 September, 2018

Western powers at United Nations make case for military action against Syria

MGN Online MGN Online
Melissa Porter | 15 April, 2018, 22:42

"Nevertheless we hope that common sense will prevail in the end", he said, in a meeting with new Russian ambassadors.

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.

After a Russian ambassador in Lebanon said Russia would shoot down any USA missiles and launch sites, a senior military official giving a briefing on Wednesday said that Russia was "following the situation closely", adding that the US coalition "ought to be occupying itself with the restoration of the destroyed city" of Raqqa instead of considering air strikes against the Syrian government.

"We can not exclude any possibilities, unfortunately", Mr Nebenzia told reporters after a private meeting of the UN Security Council in NY.

Asked if he was referring to war between the U.S. and Russian Federation, he said: "We can not exclude any possibilities unfortunately". On Wednesday he vowed to thwart Russia's missile defense system in Syria, warning that rockets "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart'".

Over 60 percent of UK nationals believe that a parliamentary vote on whether London should join the United States in its possible military action against Syria should be held, a survey by YouGov pollster showed on Thursday.

Cabinet ministers have agreed on a "need to take action" against Syria, following a suspected chemical weapon attack that claimed the lives of dozens of people in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

But across Western capitals opposition to military action also grew.

The United States, Britain and France made the case at the United Nations on Friday for military action against Syria, saying President Bashar al-Assad's repeated use of chemical weapons posed a threat to the world.

On Thursday, US officials were quoted as saying that samples from victims had tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron is expected to clarify his position later on Thursday in a television interview -- only his third since taking office previous year.

They agreed to "keep working closely" on the issue, Mrs May's office said in a statement.

Erdogan said he'll talk to Putin later on Thursday, a day after he talked to President Donald Trump about Syria. "All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible".

Mr Trump, who has cancelled a planned trip overseas, has been canvassing support for strikes from the leaders of France and the UK. But he tweeted Thursday that it may come "very soon or not so soon at all!" It "could be very soon or not so soon at all", he said.

"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.

British media reported that United Kingdom submarines in the Mediterranean have been ordered to move within range of Syrian targets ahead of May's decision expected later on Thursday.

Asked about possible USA strikes on Syria, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria".

Russian Federation has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" created to justify Western intervention.

The country's president has Vladimir Putin has called for a calming of tensions.

He added that Russian Federation would "keep all its worldwide obligations in full".