Trump abandons go-it-alone instincts to marshal allies in Syria

Bus with Russian journalists shelled in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Nebenzia was echoing Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said in a Friday news conference that Russia has "irrefutable evidence" the alleged chemical attack in Syria was "staged".

The strikes were a response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Douma last Saturday (April 7), which killed dozens of civilians.

He accused Russian Federation of being complicit in Syria's retention of chemical weapons, despite a 2013 deal that Moscow helped broker requiring Syria to abandon them.

This scenario, he said, "cannot be tolerated. especially in light of the deployment in Syria of the Russian contingent".

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Friday's strike was "a one-time shot", although Trump raised the prospect of further strikes if Assad uses chemical weapons again.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the military had "proof that testifies to the direct participation of Britain in the organising of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta".

The United States didn't waste any time in disputing Russia's accusations.

Both powers vetoed each other's draft resolutions, with the Russians accusing the US of prejudging the outcome of the investigation of the chemical weapons use in Douma district east of Damascus while the Americans said the Russians were trying to carry out the investigation their way. UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump agreed on the need to deter chemical weapon use in Syria.

Tayyip Erdogan, president of Syria's neighbour Turkey which is also in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, said on Friday he had spoken by phone with Trump and Putin and told both that increasing tension in the region was not right.

Amid an argument with Russian Federation over the prospect of missile strikes, President Trump's national security team huddled Wednesday about how to respond to a reported chemical weapons attack in Syria. But he said he personally believes it was an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons.

The allies reportedly had conclusive evidence that Syria used chemical weapons on its own people.

Germany, another important European ally, stayed out of the conflict despite USA urging, the White House official said.

Assad said Thursday that Western threats to strike Syria are based on "lies" and seek to undermine his forces' advances near Damascus. And the reason for that is because during the Cold War, the US and USSR had channels of communication and they had set up boundaries, which they knew they couldn't go around.

Trump's warlike tweets came in response to a warning from Russia's ambassador to Beirut, who took to a television network run by the armed group Hezbollah to declare that any U.S. missiles would be shot down "as well as the sources they were fired from".

"It will be in defense of a bedrock global norm that benefits all nations", Haley said.

Macron told Putin he wanted to "intensify" talks in order to "bring peace and stability to Syria", the French President's office said in a statement.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told Congress on April 12 that a "couple hundred Russians" were killed by USA artlllery and air strikes in February when a base housing US troops and their allies was attacked in eastern Syria.

But the Russian army continued to deny their side's latest victory came after Assad launched a chemical attack on the last rebel-held pocket of the enclave in the Damascus suburbs, instead accusing the White Helmets civil defense organization of staging the massacre. 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.

She refused to admit there had been a chemical attack on Douma over the weekend, claiming Russian Federation was "100% sure that that was a clear provocation".

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hayley, told the network: "We definitely have enough proof, but now we just have to be thoughtful in our action". "Get ready, Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!"

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



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