World News

Syria chemical attack 'fabrication' by foreign power: Russian Federation

Syria chemical attack 'fabrication' by foreign power: Russian Federation

Mr Kenneth Ward, the United States envoy to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said on Monday Russia may have tampered with the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma, urging the body to condemn the continuing use of banned chemical weapons.

Russian officials from President Vladimir Putin on down condemned the strike as an act of aggression against a sovereign state carried out on the pretext of staged chemical attack.

At the White House on Thursday, Trump discussed Syria with national security aides, including Mattis, Joints Chief of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford and USA ambassador to the United States Nikki Haley. "But on this occasion there is none".

The White Helmets are a target for several reasons, but mainly because their presence on the ground allows them to provide evidence of the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons and other atrocities against the Syrian people.

A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there had been a steady increase in Russian cyber attacks in recent years.

The Russian military said on March 13 that it would respond to any USA strike on Syria by targeting any missiles and launchers involved.

Last April, when United States warships in the Mediterranean fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, Russian forces were warned in advance and pulled out of the target area, which was rapidly repaired.

Russian defence ministry said that no U.S. or allied missiles had entered Russian air defence zones in Syria yet.

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Tayyip Erdogan, president of Syria's neighbour Turkey which is also in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, said on Friday he had spoken by phone with Trump and Putin and told both that increasing tension in the region was not right. "Of course, they don't really know that", Carlson said.

What has Trump said about the attack?

The United States, Britain and France launched air strikes on Saturday against what they described as three Syrian chemical weapons targets in retaliation for a suspected gas attack that killed scores of people in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7. On Monday he said he would decide within 48 hours on a forceful answer to the attack in Syria, later telling reporters: "When, I will not say, because I don't like talking about timing".

Trump, who unleashed a one-off U.S. cruise missile salvo a year ago in response to a chemical attack blamed on Assad's forces, reacted with fury and threatened a renewed intervention.

President Donald Trump accused China and Russian Federation of devaluing their currencies, opening a new front in his argument that foreign governments are taking advantage of the USA economy to support their own expansions. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

He is troubled by the similarly gruesome pictures of suffocating children, but his tougher stance this time is driven in part by his hardened view of Putin and his belief that Assad did not learn a lesson from the first strike, officials said.

Global stock markets have had a whipsaw week, largely fuelled by Trump's tendency to change his mind over top policy issues.

Trump, in comments announcing the strikes, slammed Russian Federation and Iran as "most responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing the criminal Assad regime". Rebels and jihadist insurgents are largely contained to two areas on Syria's northern and southern borders.


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