Threat of US-Russia clash hangs over Syria


Threat of US-Russia clash hangs over Syria

The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.

Russia, the main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma and has warned the U.S. and its allies against conducting any military strike.While Trump himself remained silent on Syria on Friday, Macron - who has said France has proof that Assad's government used chemical weapons in Douma - spoke by phone with Putin. A Downing Street spokesperson added: "They agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime".

According to a statement by the French presidency, Macron called for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) attends a joint press conference following talks with his dutch counterpart Stef Blok in Moscow, Russia, on April 13, 2018. The Kremlin readout said that Putin warned against rushing to blame the Syrian government before conducting a "thorough and objective probe".

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April a year ago in retaliation for al-Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.

Russian Federation has repeatedly accused rebels of staging or spreading rumours of chemical attacks, but the involvement of Britain is a new claim.

The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and unsafe actions ... that would have consequences beyond conjecture".

During an address to the Security Council, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all states "to show restraint in these risky circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate matters and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people".

U.S., British and French forces pounded Syria with more than 100 missiles early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week, in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar Assad. In his speech announcing military action in Syria, Trump pointedly asked: "What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?"

He noted that the Russian and USA militaries have a hotline to prevent incidents, adding that it's not clear if it would be sufficient amid mounting tensions.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says experts are travelling to Syria and will start investigations on Saturday.

I've honestly lost count how many times those in Syria have suffered a chemical attack since the war against Assad began years again.

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma has been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

Turkey, an important player in the Syrian conflict, said it viewed the airstrikes as "an appropriate response" to the Douma attack.

The capture of Douma from rebels who evacuated this week has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a center of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his seemingly unassailable position in the war.