Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Russia says UK led 'staged' Syria gas attack

Russia warns US against military action over alleged chemical attack in Syria 3 things Donald Trump did wrong in his taunting Russia tweet
Theresa Hayes | 16 April, 2018, 02:40

MOSCOW - The Russian military says that an alleged chemical attack in Syria was staged and directed by Britain.

The U.S. State Department said the United States has proof at "a very high level of confidence" that the Syrian government carried out the attack but is still working to identify the mix of chemicals used.

But at UN, French Ambassador Francois Delattre warned that Syria's government had reached a "point of no return" by using chemical weapons and vowed to confront the "intolerable threat" of such attacks to global security.

British Prime Minister Theresa May won backing from her senior ministers on Thursday to take unspecified action with the U.S. and France to deter further use of chemical weapons by Syria.

Russian Federation and the United States are continuing their saber-rattling over the latest allegations of a chemical attack in Syria. The United States and allies struck Syria Friday night and Russian Federation has promised that the attack will come with consequences.

She told the council that President Donald Trump "has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria, but should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defense of a principle on which we all agree".

"A perfectly executed strike last night", tweeted President Trump.

US President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that "missiles will be coming" in response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria, as the United Nations chief urged world powers to stop a face-off with Russian Federation from spiraling out of control. She noted in the meeting that Russian Federation "has stopped at nothing to defend the Syrian regime's multiple uses of chemical weapons".

Western officials believe chlorine was used in Saturday's attack on Douma, the main city in the longtime rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, where the British government now estimates 75 people were killed. The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.

Russia's diplomats and military officers issued numerous contradictory statements about the chemical attack, saying it didn't happen, that it launched by Syrian rebels on themselves, and that British intelligence ordered it as a provocation.

"America's war against Syria, and against the region's peoples and resistance movement, will not achieve its aims", Hezbollah said in a statement published on its War Media Channel.

Senior Russian figures, including the head of the military, warned that United States missiles will be shot down and their launch sites targeted if Russian personnel come under threat, the report said.

Following up on President Donald Trump's threat, the USA - along with allies Britain and France - rained cruise missiles at three locations in Syria on Saturday, the biggest strike by the West in the seven years of the war in Syria.

Since last year's strike, multiple chemical attacks have been reported in opposition areas, majority involving chlorine rather than the nerve agent sarin, as was used in 2017, suggesting the government may have adjusted its tactics.

Iran also warned of "regional consequences". It said another attack with "a number of missiles" targeting a scientific research center destroyed a building and caused other material damage but no human losses.

There was no word from Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, though his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow was in contact with Washington to discuss an atmosphere which he described as alarming. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down USA forces for years.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise.

But one major worry appeared to ease: that the coordinated attacks late Friday could have set off a direct confrontation with Syria's most powerful military partner, Russia.

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

"Due to its inability - or refusal to curb Assad's crimes, Russian Federation must assume responsibility for his behavior", they said.