Moscow calls on West to 'seriously consider' consequences of Syria threats

Moscow calls on West to 'seriously consider' consequences of Syria threats

Moscow calls on West to 'seriously consider' consequences of Syria threats

Syrian opposition activists and rescuers say a chemical attack launched by government forces in a rebel-held area near Damascus late Saturday killed more than 40 people, allegations denied by the Syrian government.

The statement said "more than 500 cases" showed "symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent".

The Syrian government and Russian Federation have denied that the attack occurred. But on Thursday, he tweeted, "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place". Russian Federation is Assad's most powerful ally and its devastating air power has helped him wrest back large areas of territory from rebels since 2015.

According to the Russian military, more than 160,000 people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, which only two months ago was a sprawling rebel enclave within mortar range of central Damascus.

Amidst all this chaos, however, one thing remains a constant: Despite electing an "America First" president who has at least episodically expressed skepticism of foreign interventionism, it is awfully hard to press antiwar arguments in the Donald's Washington.

Western attacks will probably try to destroy Syria's military command and control system, possibly with bunker-busting bombs and deep penetration warheads.

Another year into Syria's war, with chemical strikes continuing, most experts suppose any new USA response must be broader, with perhaps more targets and more than one night of bombing.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said pro-government forces were emptying main airports and military air bases.

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At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley forcefully condemned Assad. A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, the Donald Cook, departed Cyprus on Monday in the Mediterranean Sea.

Germany's Angela Merkel said it was "obvious" that Syria hadn't eradicated its chemical arsenal as it had earlier claimed.

Asked if Russian Federation is now regarded as an enemy, Huckabee Sanders demurred, saying "we certainly think they've proven to be a bad actor", noting Moscow had "guaranteed that the use of chemical weapons by Syria would not happen again". Inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, are due to investigate the incident.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for an "impartial" investigation, which "should be granted full access".

In the past, Trump has condemned others for forecasting military plans, repeatedly blistering President Barack Obama during the 2016 campaign.

France says it will decide "in the coming days" on its response, in conjunction with Washington and London. The threat applies not only to the missiles, but to their launch sites, she says.

The body also votes twice on draft texts put forward by Russian Federation, but both fail.

And this was only a week after the president said he wanted to pull US troops out of Syria completely.

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The escalating tensions weighed on investors already concerned about war, with crude prices holding high levels while the lira in Turkey, which has troops in Syria, weakened for the fourth day.

Shortly after his tweeted warning to Russia, Trump took a more conciliatory tone in lamenting that the U.S. -Russia relationship "is worse now than it has ever been".

Any potential strike against Syria could be carried out by extensive US and United Kingdom military assets already in the region, including two US Navy destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The President, however, did not specifically refer to the attack's timing in his Wednesday tweet, though he warned Russian Federation to "get ready".

Mattis said Wednesday that the USA is "still assessing the intelligence" on whether the Assad regime is to blame for the recent suspected chemical attack.

The Kremlin announces the deployment of its military police in Douma as of Thursday.

Opponents of unilateral US action called an emergency closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

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