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OPCW to inspect attack site in Syria

OPCW to inspect attack site in Syria

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of wanting the resolution to fail "to justify the use of force against Syria".

He said that Russian Federation has "the necessary means for that, and the Americans and their allies know that quite well".

A joint military operation, possibly with France rather than the United States in the lead, could send a message of worldwide unity about enforcing the prohibitions on chemical weapons and counter Syria's political and military support from Russian Federation and Iran. "It is a travesty".

Russian Federation has used its veto power 11 times at the council to block action targeting its Syrian ally.

Russian Federation has also asked for a vote on a separate draft text presented in January that calls for an inquiry, but Western powers have already dismissed that measure as biased in favor of Damascus. Vladimir Shamanov, a retired general who heads the defense affairs committee in the lower house of parliament, said in televised remarks Tuesday that a USA strike in Syria could hurt Russian servicemen and trigger retaliation.

But the news comes as at least one USA guided-missile destroyer set off for the coast of Syria after Trump stated the possibility of a military response. A Navy destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, got underway in the eastern Mediterranean on Monday after completing a port call in Cyprus.

Eurocontrol is warning airlines to exercise caution due to the possible launch of air-to-ground and cruise missiles "within the next 72 hours".

Speaking to Europe 1 radio, French President Emmanuel Macron said intelligence shared with Trump "in theory confirms the use of chemical weapons". After the alleged chemical attack, the regime said a deal had been reached for Jaish al-Islam fighters to leave the bombed-out town.

Worldwide chemical weapons experts are expected to go to Douma to investigate the suspected poison gas attack.

Russian Federation and the United States blocked attempts by each other in the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to set up global investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

"It's entirely possible that Russian advisers could be present at sites that USA military and allied forces potentially strike", Winnefeld said.

A Lebanese politician with close links to the Syrian government confirmed that precautionary measures were being taken throughout Syria.

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Even residents of the capital were bracing themselves.

The move was meant to send a firm message to Assad, and at the time, Trump said it was in the "vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons".

"I think his threats are to be feared, and we should take them seriously".

In 2017, Trump launched a cruise missile strike against a Syrian air base in retaliation for a sarin attack the United Nations later pinned on Assad.

In addition to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament, established in 1979, also negotiated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as well as the convention against biological weapons.

Douma has been heavily bombed by the regime and Russian Federation making it extremely hard for media, including AFP, to independently verify the claims.

"The Russian regime, whose hands are also covered in the blood of Syrian children, can not be shamed by pictures of its victims", she said.

Damascus narrowly avoided American and French air strikes in 2013 in retaliation for a suspected sarin attack by agreeing to hand over its chemical arsenal.

"The crisis has also dramatically deepened for hundreds of thousands of people in rural Damascus following a devastating offensive on eastern Ghouta", said Moumtzis.

Trump has threatened to respond "forcefully" to the most recent allegations, saying the U.S. had "a lot of options militarily" and would decide in the coming days.

The prime minister has agreed with her USA and French counterparts that the worldwide community must respond to an alleged chemical attack in Syria.


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