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Russia tension escalates over Syria

16 April 2018
Russia tension escalates over Syria

President Donald Trump this week warned on Twitter that "missiles are coming" in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria and that Russian Federation should "get ready". The Syrian government has denied the allegations.

She said of the alleged chemical attack that "Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups".

Senior Russian figures have warned of a Russian response to a USA attack. It was not clear when the visit would take place.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has sent thousands of troops and allied militiamen to support his forces.

Russia imported $12.5 billion worth of US products in 2017, according to official Russian customs data.

Media captionThe US president has said "nothing's off the table" - so what options are on the table?

French President Emmanuel Macron said France contributed to the USA -led Syrian attacks because the "red line declared by France in May 2017 has been crossed".

"On Friday at 9 p.m. EDT, military forces from the US, UK, and France launched a military campaign in Syria, targeting the country's research facilities that were believed to have been involved in the development of chemical weapons".

It said on Wednesday that samples taken from the site had not revealed any chemical substances.

You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

A team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is due to deploy to Syria "shortly" to determine whether banned weapons were used.

Tensions have been mounting over possible United States air attacks on the country after a chemical attack on Saturday on Douma, Eastern Ghouta, which killed scores of people and seriously affected hundreds more.

Trump on Wednesday had warned Russian Federation to "get ready" for a missile attack on its ally Syria.

Asked to comment on possible US strikes, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Thursday that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria". And added, "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents".

Military officials must consider the response from Russian Federation, which has threatened to conduct counter-strikes against the United States and has positioned some of its most advanced weaponry, including the stealth SU-57 fighter, in Syria.

A tweet from President Trump, which backtracked from his Wednesday warning that missiles soon would be heading toward Syria, further contributed to the sense that the threat of a conflagration was receding.

At the House hearing, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat of Hawaii, disputed Trump's legal authority to act without congressional authority and suggested that a USA strike would lead to war with Russian Federation.

Mr Putin said Russian Federation would "keep all its worldwide obligations in full".

A year ago, Putin was nurturing hopes for better ties with the US under President Donald Trump.

These strikes could potentially draw the United States deeper into the Syrian conflict when Trump has been publicly eager to pull out most of the 2,000 USA troops deployed in Syria to fight the Islamic States.

Erdogan says Turkey's warming ties with Russian Federation and Iran are "not an alternative" to its traditional ties to the West, adding that Ankara would "fight until the end" against Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and against USA support to a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara has labelled a terrorist group.

Critics assailed Trump for the limited nature of the 2017 attack, which did little to disrupt Syrian air operations or deter the use of chemical weapons, reported repeatedly in the following months.

Assad said on Thursday that any action by Western states against his "victory" in Douma would cause greater instability in the region.

Assad spoke during a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran's supreme leader.

The President promised never to telegraph military action against an enemy, yet all but showcased a coming missile strike on Syria.

Kuwait Airways released the statement overnight, saying flights to Beirut would be suspended from Thursday until further notice.

The air defense from the ground responded to the air strikes with anti-aircraft weapons, and over 20 missiles were intercepted. Western states are thought to be preparing for missile strikes in response to the alleged attack.

Russian Federation over the suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Friday.

Moscow followed up on that by supporting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, and it didn't budge in the face of several waves of crippling USA and European Union sanctions.

Macron said the attack was "limited to the Syrian regime's facilities enabling the production and employment of chemical weapons".

Later Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that Washington's relationship with Moscow is "worse now than it has ever been".

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj.

Parliament voted down British military action against Assad's government in 2013 in an embarrassment for May's predecessor, David Cameron. That is not a legal requirement, though it is a convention.

According to the activists and local medics, the attack in Eastern Ghouta on Saturday has killed dozens of people with majority being women and children.

France says it will decide in the coming days whether to launch a military strike over a suspected chemical attack in Syria.

It comes after UK Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with President Trump and the pair agreed "the Assad regime had established a pattern of unsafe behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons". "So the situation is very unsafe", Nebenzya said.

The withdrawal plan, which still doesn't have the backing of U.S. military leaders and diplomats, entails leaving behind a smaller force to hunt down Islamic State fighters and help local forces secure areas liberated from the terrorist outfit.

USA -led military strikes in retaliation for the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons against a Damascus suburb last weekend remained a distinct possibility, but there were indications that efforts to head off a confrontation between global powers are gathering momentum.

Douma was the last part of the rebel enclave on the eastern edge of Damascus to escape government control.

Activists, rescue workers and medics say dozens of people died in the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday.