West hesitates on Syria, Russia warns of 'war'

  • West hesitates on Syria, Russia warns of 'war'

West hesitates on Syria, Russia warns of 'war'

The Russian military said its chemical experts visited Douma shortly after the alleged attack and found no trace of chemical agents in ground samples.

According to Syrian medics and a statement by the World Health Organisation, more than 40 people died in an April 7 strike on the former rebel outpost of Douma of symptoms consistent with the use of chemical weapons.

Russia's military head has warned that Moscow will target United States sites if the latter puts the former's personnel at risk.

Similarly, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had "proof" that the Syrian government had attacked Douma with chemical weapons, without giving further details.

In the UK, Cabinet ministers said that it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was responsible for the attack and said the use of chemical weapons must not "go unchallenged".

Maj Gen Konashenkov said Britain was "directly involved in the provocation".

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov speaks to the media a joint news conference with Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra following their talks, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 13, 2018. The Kremlin readout said that Putin warned against rushing to blame the Syrian government before conducting a "thorough and objective probe". "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences", he said.

Russia's foreign ministry said on Saturday that Western strikes on Syria came as the country had "a chance of a peaceful future".

Russia's ambassador to the United States on Friday warned that there would be consequences for the US -led military strikes on Syria, adding that it was not acceptable to insult Russia's president.

At the same time, we will support the regime of Bashar al-Assad militarily more than we have so far. "Russian Federation can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups". A French frigate, UK Royal Navy submarines laden with cruise missiles and the U.S.S Donald Cook, an American destroyer equipped with Tomahawk land attack missiles, have all moved into range of Syria's sun-bleached coast.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that "nice and new and 'smart!'" missiles would be coming Syria's way, and that Russian Federation should "get ready".

Across Western capitals opposition to military action also grew.

Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are expected to arrive in Syria over the weekend to investigate the reported attack, following an invitation from Damascus.

During his address, President Trump said U.S. forces were prepared to sustain this response "until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents" and issued a direct message to Russian Federation and Iran which he said are "most responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing the criminal Assad regime".