West hesitates on Syria response as Russian Federation warns of 'war'
West hesitates on Syria response as Russian Federation warns of 'war'
Russia says chemical attack on Syria waged with UK insistence
17 April, 2018, 05:13
Russia's ambassador to the United States on Friday warned that there would be consequences for the US-led military strikes on Syria, adding that it was not acceptable to insult Russia's president.
A senior official in a regional alliance that backs Damascus said the Syrian government absorbed the attacks, adding that the targeted sites were evacuated days ago thanks to a warning from Russian Federation.
"The Kremlin is remaining in the sphere of rhetoric" for now, he said.
Nasrallah also slammed the United States president calling him "unstable".
The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday accused Britain of staging a fake chemical attack in a Syrian town outside Damascus, a bold charge vehemently denied by Britain as a "blatant lie".
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia insisted that there was "no credible confirmation of toxic substance use in Douma", adding that "we have information to believe that what took place is a provocation with the participation of certain countries' intelligence services".
She noted that In 2017, Moscow "killed" a Joint Investigative Mechanism, which the United Nations established in 2015 to investigate and assign accountability for chemical weapons use in Syria.
"We did not do any coordination with Russian Federation on these strikes, and neither did we pre-notify them", Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday night. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.
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The coalition forces especially the U.S. and Russian Federation need to be sensitive over the use of conventional weapons, he said.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, the 28 European Union foreign ministers endorsed the missile strikes and considered steps to deepen Assad's isolation.
In interviews broadcast by the pro-government Al-Ikhbaria television channel, 13 medical workers, including nine doctors, said the symptoms they treated suggested that the patients were suffering from asthma, not the effects of a poison gas. The United States claimed to have met its obligations, while Russian Federation said it could not confirm.
Across Western capitals opposition to military action also grew. The Kremlin said both Putin and Macron lauded the upcoming visit of the global chemical watchdog's fact-finding mission to Syria and pledged to join efforts to provide necessary assistance to that mission.
But she will be questioned over why she did not seek parliamentary approval for the action, a decision that she and her ministers say was driven by the need to act quickly. USA lawmakers questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to order strikes without Congressional approval and opposition parties voiced concern.
Trump said the strikes were meant to deter the use of chemical weapons like the attack on civilians in the Syrian town of Douma last week, and that the US was prepared to continue the attacks until the Syrian regime stops using chemical weapons.
In France, the conservatives, the far-left and the far-right have all criticised the strikes.
In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to face an emergency parliamentary debate on Monday over her country's part in the operation.
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Russian Federation denounced the attacks as aggression against its ally, but there was no sign of an immediate military response. The US-led strike was launched even though the OPCW fact-finding team was due to head to Douma on Saturday.
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