Thursday, 26 April, 2018

The UK Has Bombed A Suspected Chemical Weapons Stockpile In Syria

John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov
Nicole Thomas | 15 April, 2018, 08:16

Secretary-General António Guterres has also expressed his outrage at reports that civilians in the enclave are being targeted by toxic agents, saying that any confirmed use of chemical weapons, by any party to the conflict, "is abhorrent and a clear violation of worldwide law".

"And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack".

Strikes were launched at 2am at three sites connected with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme. He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which also has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a USA military response.

Trump has sent mixed messages on his country's readiness to act.

"Syria's use of chemical weapons is sickening - but the question that the PM has not answered is how this action, taken without parliamentary approval, will halt their use or bring long-term peace".

Publicly, Trump seems to have no idea what he actually wants to do in Syria.

On the suspected poison gas attack on Douma, Ms Haley said: "We know who did this".

Before Saturday's attacks, Kenneth Clarke, the Conservative former finance minister, insisted that failing to consult MPs first would be "a very retrograde step" that made parliamentary accountability "pathetic".

He said the sole interest of the UK, US and France was to "oust" the Syrian government and "contain" the Russian Federation.

Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators", and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 worldwide agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the Friday night raids as aggression that will make the humanitarian crisis in Syria worse and called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations' Security Council.

Syrian state TV said the army's air defences shot down 13 missiles.

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Russian Federation has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria on Friday.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the USA did not coordinate targets with or notify the Russian government of the strikes, beyond normal airspace "de-confliction" communications.

"The use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is illegal and utterly reprehensible", Turnbull said.

"This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime", he said.

Mrs May and President Trump spoke hours after this meeting and reiterated the use of chemical weapons should not be tolerated. The participation of British and French forces enables Trump to assert a wider worldwide commitment against the use of chemical weapons, but the multi-pronged attack carries the risk of Russian retaliation.

The strikes have raised global fears of possible conflict between Russian Federation, a key ally of Syria, and the US.

"This is hard to do in a situation like this", he said, in light of the volatility of chemical agents.

It remains unclear whether May would seek parliamentary support for any United Kingdom involvement in airstrikes.

"We must reinstate the global consensus that chemical weapons can not be used". Earlier, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, told reporters in NY that those investigators were to arrive Thursday and Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that a target of the strike was the Syrian government's "clandestine chemical arsenal".

At the UN Security Council, Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said there was "no credible confirmation" of a chemical attack and accused intelligence agencies of directing the attack.

The World Health Organization estimated Wednesday that about 500 people could have been affected by the suspected chemical attack in Douma, citing reports from its health partners on the ground. Inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, are due to investigate the incident.

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