Alleged Chemical Attack in Syria: Russia blames Britain

Russia warns US against military action over alleged chemical attack in Syria

The Kremlin on Thursday warned the US and its allies, who are weighing military strikes on Syria, to avoid any steps that could destabilize the situation there.

"I spoke to the president this morning, and he said, 'If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded, '" Nikki Haley said at an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting called by Russian Federation after the US and allies struck three targets in Syria.

The foreign minister said Moscow and Washington need to broaden channels for communication and cooperation, especially given the extremely alarming atmosphere between the two sides.

Hezbollah condemned the air strikes in Syria, where the Iran-backed Lebanese group backs the Assad regime.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, told Congress on Thursday that he believed there was a chemical attack in Syria, but added a short while later that the US had not made any decision to launch military action against the Syrian regime.

She said: "Before chemical disarmament Mr Assad was the best friend not of Moscow, but of London and Washington".

At the United Nations meeting, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari warned that Syria would respond if the USA moved against his country. "We will not let anyone attack our sovereignty".

Russian Federation answered with threats of its own.

As ministers discussed the crisis yesterday, United States officials claimed to have evidence that chlorine gas and a nerve agent were used in a Syrian government attack on the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta at the weekend that left around 70 dead.

"There is no credible proof of this", Nebenzia said.

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said the allied airstrikes "took out the heart" of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal.

The US, France and the United Kingdom have reportedly backed the former's plan of striking Syria, in response to the alleged chemical attack.

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He did not say what the evidence was.

Trump then singled out Russian President Vladimir Putin and said, "Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace".

As the rhetoric sharpened around the accusations, there were few of those who could or would hear the words of experts, who said that detailed test should be done before making any accusations, and who argued that it cannot be concluded whether chemical weapons were really used in Douma based on photographs and videos. Lavrov continued to state that it was led by only one country, but he refused to give the name.

Nebenzia told the Security Council "before the investigation even occurred, guilty parties were identified".

Zakharova suggested that Western media bore some responsibility for the strikes, claiming the White House cited "multiple media sources" on the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma.

"Again, we are being threatened", Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said in a statement. What happens next, she said, is up to Assad and to his Russian and Iranian allies. "I really, really am".

He said the strikes were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce or launch new attacks.

Biological samples from the area of the attack in Syria have tested positive for chlorine and a sarin-like nerve agent, according to a U.S. official who's familiar with the United States analysis of the test results. The suburban Damascus area targeted in the suspected chemical attack last Saturday was among a dwindling number of rebel-held areas as Assad expands his control. "We used the normal deconfliction channel to deconflict airspace".

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced US Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron and Britain's Theresa May, branding them "criminals". "The suffering it causes is horrendous", Guterres said.

"It's. highly likely an attempt to create complications for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission which was just starting its work in Syria's Douma, or an attempt to completely derail it", Interfax on Saturday quoted Kosachev as saying.

The assault came despite the lack of a definitive independent finding that chemical weapons were used or who had deployed them.

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