Strikes up the ante in Syrian conflict

Strikes up the ante in Syrian conflict

Strikes up the ante in Syrian conflict

The crisis was due to be discussed later Monday at an urgent UN Security Council meeting, with the USA circulating a draft resolution for a new independent inquiry of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Moscow and Washington halted attempts by each other in the U.N. Security Council to set up worldwide investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which is in the throes of a seven-year-old civil war.

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States, France and Britain of stoking global tensions by engaging in a "confrontational policy against Russia and Syria". "We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done".

Trump also discussed the situation in Syria with French President Emmanuel Macron later Monday, with both leaders expressing a desire for a "firm response". The Pentagon chief said he would not rule out a US military strike against Syria in response to a suspected poison gas attack.

There have been 10 chemical attacks recorded by activists and doctors in Syria this year, including the alleged incident in Douma Saturday, according to the Syrian American Medical Society.

If these reports are confirmed, the attack on April 7 would be the deadliest since around 100 people died from sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun, northwestern Syria, in April 2017. The ship is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, the weapon of choice in a US attack one year ago on an airfield in Syria after an alleged sarin gas attack on civilians at Khan Sheikhoun. Then he loudly announced he meant to pull out US forces and "let the other people take care of" Syria.

USA officials told Reuters that Washington was weighing a multinational military response.

Syria's government has denied using chemical weapons throughout the Syrian conflict, which began in 2011.

Vladimir Shamanov, a retired general who heads the defense affairs committee in the lower house of parliament, said in televised remarks Tuesday that a US strike in Syria could hurt Russian servicemen and trigger Russian retaliation.

The requests was made amid OPCW's announcement about their intention to deploy experts in Syria to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons on the ground.

The suspected chemical weapons attack hit the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta region in the suburban area near Damascus late on Saturday, reportedly killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 1,000 others.

Russian Federation and Syria have blamed Israel for Monday's pre-dawn missile attack on a major air base in central Syria, claiming that Israeli F-15 fighter jets launched the missiles from Lebanon's air space. "But at the same time, he wants to make sure that [Syrian President Bashar Assad] is deterred from chemical weapons attacks on innocent civilians, and we think you can have separation". TASS news agency quoted him as saying he believed common sense would prevail. First responders entering apartments in Douma on Sunday said they found bodies collapsed on floors, some foaming at the mouth. It was conducted with cruise missiles launched from outside Syria's borders.

According to United Nations statistics, over 400,000 people had been displaced by military operations in the northern province of Idlib since the start of the year.

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