Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

West hesitates on Syria response as Russian Federation warns of 'war'

West hesitates on Syria response as Russian Federation warns of 'war'

"We hope that there will be no point of no return - that the USA and their allies will refrain from military action against a sovereign state", Nebenzia said. A United States guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", he added.

Russian Federation has warned the USA that launching airstrikes in response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria could spark a war between the two countries and accused Washington of putting worldwide peace at risk.

Earlier Friday, Russia's foreign minister said that a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend was staged with the help of a foreign intelligence agency, without specifying or providing evidence, and sternly warned the West against proposed military action.

Damascus, with key allies Russian Federation and Iran, have lambasted reports of the suspected gas attack as bogus.

Russia's lower house of parliament is to consider draft legislation that would give the Kremlin powers to ban or restrict a list of USA imports, reacting to new US sanctions on a group of Russian tycoons and officials.

In a news conference Friday evening, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the US -led coalition used double the number of weapons as last year's strike, which involved 58 USA missiles and was also in response to the use of chemical weapons by Assad's military.

Andrei Kobyakov

She said strikes targeted the "main research center" for the Syrian chemical weapons program and "two important production sites". "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences".

Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was some "activity" by Syrian surface-to-air missiles, but there were no reports of US or allied casualties. "No final decision has been made", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, adding that Trump would confer with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year. The Kremlin said a crisis communications link with the United States, created to avoid an accidental clash over Syria, was in use.

"The United States and its allies have no proof and, without even waiting for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to take a position, have carried out this military attack", said the foreign ministry in a statement.

Pence's aim, he told another White House official, was not to overshadow or undercut Bolton on his first day at work, but to "provide some continuity at a time when we have some changes and a lot on our plate".

John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has worked with Bolton in the past, said Bolton was opposed to "empty symbolic gestures that make us feel good but have no strategic effects". "But beyond simply destroying hardware, he'll want to get deep inside the head of Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers".

"We are carrying out an assessment of the material damages", the official added.


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