Published: Mon, April 16, 2018

Russia's United Nations envoy says top priority is to avert war in Syria

Russia's United Nations envoy says top priority is to avert war in Syria

Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the global fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible.

President Donald Trump on Thursday put off a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria after tweeting earlier that they could happen "very soon or not so soon at all".

As the administration prepares a counter response to the latest attack, which appeared to target civilians and young children, Mr. Trump warned in a tweet Wednesday morning that some sort of missile strike was forthcoming.

However, pushing such conspiracy theories has become a norm in Russian Federation, whenever Russia wants to cover up its or its allies footprints in Syria.

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway said the "Russian accusations seeking to shift blame away from the Assad regime for the April 7 chemical attack have no basis in fact and are typical of Russian disinformation efforts". The US Defense Department said it "does not comment on potential future military actions".

Russia's US embassy released a statement warning that the airstrikes will "not be left without consequences".

Immediately after the attack, Syrian state TV, broadcasting live from the landmark Omayyad Square, showed crowds of civilians mixing with men in uniform, including vehicles with flags.

Dunford said the US did not coordinate targets with or notify the Russian government of the strikes, beyond normal airspace "de-confliction" communications. "Some clapped their hands and danced, other drove in convoys, honking their horns in defiance", The Associated Press reports.

"Good souls will not be humiliated", Syria's presidency tweeted after the airstrikes began.

Russia, which has backed the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has joined Damascus in denying an attack even took place - even though USA authorities have declared it did with near certainty.

His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the USA -led invasion of Iraq.


Konashenkov said Friday that Britain was "directly involved in the provocation", but didn't elaborate or provide evidence. The planes fired Storm Shadow missiles at a facility where the United Kingdom said the Assad "regime is assessed to keep chemical weapon precursors stockpiled".

Netanyahu's office said:"The prime minister reiterated that Israel will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria". "It is not about regime change".

In a statement later on Saturday morning in London, May said the United Kingdom was "confident of its success".

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a USA strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress.

The more capable defenses are arrayed to protect Russian military assets, centered at the Hmeimim air base in northwest Syria, rather than Syrian military facilities across the country.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement saying he supported the airstrikes.

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 U.S., United Kingdom and France are all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members. "We're looking very, very seriously, very closely at the whole situation", he told reporters.

Trump was also due to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron, who said France had proof the Syrian government carried out the attack near Damascus, which aid groups have said killed dozens of people, and will decide whether to strike back when all the necessary information has been gathered.

The U.S. has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria as advisers to a makeshift group of anti-Islamic State fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

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