Russia: Syria chemical attack 'fabrication by foreign power'

Erika Holt
April 16, 2018

While the prospect of US-led military action that could lead to confrontation with Russian Federation hung over the Middle East, the White House on Friday accused Syria of carrying out a toxic gas assault on April 7 that killed dozens of people in Douma, near Damascus.

Similarly, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had "proof" that the Syrian government had attacked Douma with chemical weapons, without giving further details. The United States, France and Britain fired 105 missiles overnight in retaliation, targeting Syria's chemical weapons program.

The allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were eager yesterday to lay blame for the crisis not with him but with Mr Trump. But the next morning, Trump tweeted that he "never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

"We can not depend on what someone on the other side of the ocean takes into his head in the morning".

The US president said Washington is prepared to "sustain" pressure on al-Assad until he ends what Trump called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

Early on Saturday, US President Donald Trump announced the military action in Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in the city of Duma in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

"The Russian ambassador to the United Nations said the western attacks of this morning on Syria were an "act of aggression" against a sovereign state and accused the US, UK and France of "diplomatic hooliganism" ". "The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", said Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. "We hope there will be no point of no return". Russia views the military strikes against Syria as an act of aggression and a declaration of war on a sovereign state, Sherin said, according to Russian news agency Sputnik.

"God forbid anything adventurous will be done in Syria along the lines of the Libyan and Iraqi experience", Lavrov told a news conference, referring to past Western military interventions elsewhere in the region.

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U.S. allies have offered strong words of support for Washington, but no clear military plans have yet emerged.

Britain's UN Ambassador Karen Pierce blamed Russian Federation for repeatedly vetoing resolutions on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and said the United Kingdom took military action "to save lives, " on the legal basis of "humanitarian intervention".

Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a US strike could lead to a conflict with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

But he appeared conciliatory yesterday. Russian Federation also calls it "fabricated".

France said Thursday it has proof that Syrian government forces, which Russian Federation has pledged to protect, conducted the attack. The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and unsafe actions. that would have consequences beyond conjecture".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members Germany and the Netherlands have said they will not take part in any military action.

"The current escalation of the situation around Syria has a devastating impact on the whole system of global relations", he added. The White House said it was continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies about how to respond. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

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