Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Iran warns United States against 'dangerous' Syria escalation

Schwarzenegger and Macron join forces in swipe at Trump Iran warns United States against 'dangerous' Syria escalation
Sammy Stanley | 29 June, 2017, 09:09

The US State Department said it amounted to a war crime.

Syria appears to have heeded a warning against staging any new chemical weapons attack as no such action has been launched, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday.

British Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon told BBC Radio 4's Today program this morning that "we will support" future usa action in response to chemical weapons use in Syria, though he said Washington had not shared its intelligence with the U.K. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, meanwhile, said that "such threats to Syria's legitimate leaders are unacceptable". Given that opposition to Syria's ally Iran is emerging as the organizing principle of the Trump administration's Mideast strategy, it seems unlikely that the USA will agree to simply cede areas captured from ISIS back to Assad.

"It appears that they took the warning seriously", Mattis told reporters during a trip to Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting. In 2012, President Obama famously warned that the use of chemical weapons use would constitute a red line, triggering US action.

Press secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement Monday night saying the USA has "potential" evidence the Assad regime is preparing another chemical attack like the one that took place in early April.

Though the report was inconclusive, the Trump administration swiftly responded by issuing the public warning of the devastating effects of another round of chemical attacks by the Assad regime.

In the meantime, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani rejected the USA claims and said that Washington is playing with fire in the Arab country, according to Press TV.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were reportedly present at Shayrat before April's sarin gas attack, raising questions about Iran's involvement in Syria chemical weapons program.

NANCY YOUSSEF, BuzzFeed: The Pentagon told us that they saw evidence of planes that were used to conduct aerial chemical attacks in the past being moved around on Shayrat airfield.

AB de Villiers backs South Africa to win Test series against England
Dawid Malan was named man of the match after making the highest score by an England player on their T20 debut. AB de Villiers believes South Africa's excellent Test record in England will work in their favour again.

The White House says Syria may be preparing another chemical weapons attack on its citizens.

As of Tuesday afternoon, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had not offered any evidence to back up the claims he made the day before.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday that threats against the Syrian leadership are "unacceptable", and that he did not know of any information about a threat for a chemical attack.

Days later, President Donald Trump ordered a retaliatory cruise missile strike on a Syrian government-controlled air base.

Russian Federation warns the United States not to act unilaterally in Syria, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennadiy Gatilov told Sputnik, underscoring that its troops are not threatened by the Syrian government forces. The strikes hit an IS jail in Mayadeen at dawn yesterday, killing 42 prisoners and 15 militants.

On Friday, a spokesman for the USA -led anti-IS coalition said "we absolutely have no problem" with the Syrian army and its allied militias moving into eastern Syria to fight IS, despite those multiple clashes over the past month. Russian Federation and Syria also carry out airstrikes in Deir el-Zour, and it was not clear how the activists identified the aircraft responsible. But the United States priority has and continues to be to defeat ISIS.

The officials weren't authorized to discuss national security planning publicly and requested anonymity.

The United States has taken a series of actions over the past three months demonstrating its willingness to carry out strikes, mostly in self-defense, against Syrian government forces and their backers, including Iran.

The U.S. strike in April was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government and Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president.

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