Syria's air defenses respond to missile attack over Homs
Syria's air defenses respond to missile attack over Homs
Syria air strikes US President Donald Trump said the Syrian regime attacks"crimes of a monster
17 April, 2018, 20:24
Syrian and Russian officials deny any wrongdoing.
Syria and its military ally Russian Federation have denied a chemical weapon attack took place, saying their inspectors visited the site and found no evidence of one.
When they arrive at the site on Wednesday, it will be 11 days since the attack. Hours after the alleged chemical attack, the rebel faction that controlled the town, the Army of Islam, relented and was evacuated along with thousands of residents. The alleged gas attack, which Syrian activists say killed more than 40 people, prompted punitive U.S., British and French airstrikes.
Meanwhile, Britain has said it based its assertion that Syria was to blame for a chemical attack on intelligence and on open source information.
Syria and its ally Russian Federation deny any chemical attack took place - with Russian Federation calling it a "staged thing".
France urged OPCW nations to boost the organisation's work so it can completely dismantle Syria's "secret" toxic weapons programme.
The officials said Erdogan and Rouhani held a telephone conversation on Tuesday during which the Turkish leaders said actions increasing tensions should be avoided.
Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has said his country is "fully ready" to cooperate with the OPCW mission.
A top official at the French presidency, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the military operation, acknowledged Saturday France had no samples.
Turkey has backed the weekend's strikes on Syria by the United States, France and Britain. Asked about reports of the missile attack, an Israeli military spokesman said: "We don't comment on such reports".
US forces fired 66 Tomahawk cruise missiles - with a total cost of about $92 million - and Lockheed Martin's JASSM-ER missile made its combat debut in the Syrian strikes.
Syria and its ally Russia deny any chemical attack took place, and Russian officials have gone even further, accusing Britain of staging a "fake" chemical attack. Until Saturday, the city was the last rebel-held town near the capital and the target of a government offensive in February and March that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday warned that if the strikes continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in worldwide relations".
On Sunday, Syria's state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV broadcast interviews with almost a dozen doctors and medics who said they found no trace of poison gas in Douma.
The other two were suspected chemical weapons facilities at Him Shinshar near Homs.
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He spoke at the European parliament on Tuesday, showing signs of anger and sometimes nearly shouting.
An Israeli military spokesman said he was "not aware" of the incident and U.S. defence spokeswoman Heather Babb said there were no American operations in the area.
Some European lawmakers expressed criticism at France's action in Syria, raising placards reading "Stop the war in Syria" and "Hands off Syria" during Macron's speech.
Syrian state media has retracted reports of an overnight missile attack on the central province of Homs, saying a "false alarm" had activated its air defences. A odd smell lingered, nine days after the attack.
The Group of Seven leading industrialized nations has issued a joint statement endorsing the USA -led air strikes in Syria.
The Russian military said last week its officers in Douma found no evidence to support reports of a gas attack.
"It's a clumsy effort to find an explanation if the claim of the chemical weapons use in Syria fails to get confirmation", Shulgin said at a briefing.
The say the airstrikes last Saturday by the three nations were "limited, proportionate and necessary" and followed "only after exhausting every possible diplomatic option to uphold the global norm against the use of chemical weapons".
"We have family members that we don't know of their whereabouts of", he says.
The US, the United Kingdom and France launched a series of attacks on specific targets in the war-torn country and CNN reported that the coalition forces claimed that they were targeting a research laboratory and two storage facilities which were believed to be the country's chemical weapons programme sites.
It didn't say who carried out the early Tuesday airstrikes.
Two days after the missile strikes that he hailed as a well-executed military operation, President Donald Trump still wants to bring the small number of USA troops in northern Syria home, the White House said.
Shayrat air base was targeted previous year in a USA cruise missile attack in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 70 people, including children, on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.
A fact-finding team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had been expected to inspect the site in Douma when the airstrikes took place Friday.
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The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town. The United States claimed to have met its obligations, while Russian Federation said it could not confirm.
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Air Defense Confront Missiles in Homs
Near Damascus, the pro-regime media reported that three missiles had been launched at the Damir airbase close to the capital. The raid in Homs countryside reportedly coincided with another missile attack against a military airbase near Damascus.