Monday, 21 May, 2018

Kremlin Spokesman Warns Against Syria Strike

Syria: 'Chemical attack' and international threats – Here's recap of events since April 7 Trump puts off Syria strike decision, will talk to allies
Sammy Stanley | 15 April, 2018, 20:13

Syria's President, Bashar al Assad, said a possible attack on his country could trigger regional instability.

"Whenever the Syrian Army achieves victory in the field, some Western countries rise their voices and intensify their movements in an attempt to change the track of events", Assad said. "You don't have to be partners with animals that kill their people and take pleasure in it!" he said.

US President Donald Trump has cast doubt over the timing of his threatened strike on Syria in response to a reported chemical weapons attack on civilians, saying it "could be very soon or not so soon at all".

"Our president has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria", Ms. Haley told the council.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the alleged use of chemicals last weekend in the rebel-held city of Douma was a blatant breach of several resolutions taken against Syria by the U.N. Security Council.

Mr. Mattis' remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing followed a series of Trump tweets this week that initially indicated he was committed to bombing Syria but later suggested he was awaiting further advice and assessment. Then Thursday he tweeted that an attack on Syria "could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Russia: Missiles aimed at Syrian air base downed
The attack began at 4 a.m. (0100 GMT) with missiles hitting the eastern suburbs of Damascus , shaking the grounds from a distance. Both the Russian military and the Syrian government said they would facilitate the mission and ensure the inspectors' security.

There was no immediate confirmation or indication from Assad's government that Syrian troops entered Douma on Thursday. She called the Syrian government a "murderous regime".

The Kremlin was speaking as British ministers planned to gather to discuss whether to join the United States and France in a possible military attack on Syria that threatens to bring Western and Russian forces into direct confrontation. The US government is talking about "a response" after accusations that Damascus conducted a chemical attack in Douma based on unverified claims.

Asked about the chances of a doomsday scenario in which Russian and American blood will be spilled as result of the US-led military action, Zakharova said that Moscow and Washington have all the means to prevent such a showdown and its potentially disastrous consequences.

The Russian military insists that the Douma attack might have been staged, adding that its units, dispatched to the site, found no traces of chemical weapons. "Numerous, large-scale attacks on another country without Congressional authorisation are unconstitutional, and they push the U.S. closer to what could be an interminable, all-out conflict in Syria".

Mr. 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.

"Until we have a more long-term strategy, until we have some idea where we're going in Syria and the Middle East, it seems unwise, to me, to start launching missiles", said Smith, D-Wash. And as recently as March 29, Trump mulled ending US military action in Syria now that the Islamic State's presence and power there is decimated.

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