Don's mission accomplished! Syria intercepted missiles, scoffs Russian Federation

Erika Holt
April 16, 2018

Warships and submarines of the Russian naval taskforce were keeping track at a close distance of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation assault ships and submarines in the area, Russian government news site Tass said, citing a military and diplomatic source.

Speaking from the White House late Friday, US President Donald Trump said the three nations had "marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality".

Syria ally Russian Federation has warned of "consequences" following the launch of US-led strikes against Bashar al-Assad's regime in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.

A year later, Trump finds himself again weighing his response to a suspected poison gas attack by Assad's forces, this time in the town of Douma last weekend. As a result, Washington, and its allies - France and the United Kingdom - fired missiles on the Syrian facilities, which they claimed were linked with chemical weapons production.

"Just deterring this act with a few airstrikes and not looking at the consequences for Syria wouldn't be a fully fleshed-out action", said another senior administration official.

But both Dunford and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis stressed that strikes were not meant to pull America deeper into Syria's war.

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The accusation, made by the American ambassador to the UN, Nikki R. Haley, came during a vitriolic exchange with her Russian counterpart at a meeting of the Security Council, which focused on a suspected chemical weapons assault in a Damascus suburb last week.

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On the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma where an estimated 70 people died, he said Russian security services "did not find any traces of chemical substances".

Lavrov warned against USA military "adventures" in the country, but signaled that Russian Federation remains open for negotiations.

Since Saturday, when images of ashen toddlers struggling for breath emerged, there has been a sustained military buildup in the eastern Mediterranean.

"Russia strongly condemns the attack on Syria where Russian servicemen are helping the legitimate Government in the war on terrorism", the Kremlin press office quoted Putin as saying.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", said Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

Any strike risks a confrontation with Russian Federation, which is a key ally of Assad.

Russian Federation has been deeply enmeshed in Syria's civil war since 2015 and Washington and Moscow have already indirectly clashed in the country.

Russian Federation has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" created to justify Western intervention. The UN has previously found "clear and convincing evidence" chemical weapons were used in Ghouta in 2013.

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