Bashar al-Assad warns Western action would 'further destabilise' region

  • Bashar al-Assad warns Western action would 'further destabilise' region

Bashar al-Assad warns Western action would 'further destabilise' region

Two days ago U.S. President Donald Trump warned that missiles "will be coming" in response to that attack, leaving open the prospect of Western military action that could lead to confrontation with Russian Federation.

As Trump has talked about ordering a new military strike on Syria, the regime led by President Bashar Assad has been busy. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'", the tweet read. It has been fought over since at least 2012, when government troops battled for control of both the city and the broader Eastern Ghouta region.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an global chemical weapons watchdog organization said Thursday that its team is en route to Syria and will begin work Saturday to investigate the attack.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any United States missile strike could be an attempt to destroy evidence of the reported gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, for which Damascus and Moscow have denied any responsibility. The Syrian government and Russian Federation have denied a chemical attack occurred.

This image released Sunday, April 8, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria.

But while the Russian president's lieutenants continued to up the ante with threats and allegations, Vladimir Putin himself adopted a more statesmanlike tone, in remarks to new ambassadors presenting their credentials at the Kremlin.

Senior Russian lawmaker, Alexei Kondratyev, a deputy head of the upper house's defense committee, on Wednesday said that warships would be engaged in the Mediterranean Sea to protect Russian assets in Syria from a possible United States strike.

Russian Federation is Assad's most powerful ally and its devastating air power has helped him wrest back large areas of territory from rebels since 2015. While UK Prime Minister Mrs May isn't required to seek parliamentary approval, it's accepted that lawmakers will have a say before committing military forces.

When - or if - the United States does take action against Syria, the message will be heard loud and clear in Damascus: Using chemical weapons to kill innocent people triggers a righteous USA military response.

"The situation in the world is getting more chaotic", he said.

Macron, the French president, said he had "proof" that the Assad government mounted the chemical weapons attack.

In a tweet on Sunday, Trump said those deemed responsible should expect to pay a "big price".

Should the President follow through on his warnings of an attack, two US Navy destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles are in position and ready to be called into action, among other assets, including jets and submarines. The Kremlin says a hotline between United States and Russian military officials is in use and Russian media say it's expected the Americans will provide coordinates of planned targets.

The strike could also target what is left of Al Assad's air force and air defences, though the delay between Saturday's attack and an eventual retaliatory strike means he likely will have moved his warplanes to safety.