Russia warns US of "dangerous" escalation over Syria


Both powers vetoed each other's draft resolutions, with the Russians accusing the USA of prejudging the outcome of the investigation of the chemical weapons use in Douma district east of Damascus while the Americans said the Russians were trying to carry out the investigation their way.

The Russian President, who backs Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, has called for an immediate United Nations Security Council meeting to what the Kremlin has called "an attack on Syria". "When our President draws a red line, our President enforces the red line." she said.

Russia's ambassador to the United States on Saturday 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.

Syria air defenses retaliate after strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus, Syria in this still image obtained from video dated early April 14, 2018. He acknowledged, however, that Syria retained "residual" capacity, but gave no details on the scope of what could be left.

Two sessions of the UN Security Council failed to calm the tensions between Russian Federation and the United States, which are on opposite sides in the conflict in Syria, while the USA responded to Russian Federation placing the Black Sea Fleet on alert by announcing that the Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and a group of ships accompanying it will be stationed in the Mediterranean starting on Wednesday.

"Tonight, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States took decisive action to strike the Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure..."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Western intervention in Syria would "lead to new waves of migrants to Europe".

The strikes also appear to leave Assad firmly in control and with his Russian backing intact. "The U.S. actions in Syria make the present destructive situation even worse", Nebenzia added.

"It was palpable, the fear", said Vladimir Frolov, an independent foreign-policy analyst in Moscow.

An Israeli official told CNN that Syria continues to engage in "murderous actions" that put its territory, its forces and its leadership at risk.

The sky looked orange over eastern Damascus apparently as a result of fires caused by the missiles hitting Syria.

Assad's Barzah research and development centre in Damascus was destroyed, McKenzie said.

During his recent visit to France, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told reporters that Saudi Arabia could strike Damascus if the need arises.

The rhetoric from Syria's backers was harsh.

Vladimir Putin has condemned the air strikes on Syria by UK, US and French governments as an "act of aggression".

But there were no signs the Russian military was preparing a retaliatory response that could bring Moscow and Washington into direct confrontation.

Last year, the United States carried out strikes from two Navy destroyers against a Syrian air base after another toxic gas attack on a rebel-controlled pocket.

Global chemical weapons experts were travelling to Syria to investigate an alleged gas attack by government forces on the town of Douma which killed dozens of people.

"Any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent". They will collect soil samples and talk to witnesses in attempts to pin down what occurred.

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.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Lavrov reiterated a strong warning to the West against military action in Syria. "A lack of accountability emboldens those who would use such weapons by providing them with the reassurance of impunity", the secretary-general said.

The OPCW said it would "shortly" deploy a fact-finding team to Douma for an investigation, but United States officials said they were working from their own information and would not necessarily hold back.

"Nothing is certain in these kinds of matters".

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said there were no reports of U.S. losses during the initial airstrikes. "It was done on targets that we believed were selected to hurt the chemical weapons program".

"A list banning US nationals' entry into Russian Federation will be introduced". And I think it comes down to the willingness of the allies to support each other and how deeply they are willing to go in order to secure their interests and support their common allies. European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted, "The EU will stand with our allies on the side of justice".

MOSCOW - The Russian military says that an alleged chemical attack in Syria was staged and directed by Britain.

"It is unlikely that we will have to sink the Donald Cook".

"The disinformation campaign is in full force this morning, but Russia's desperate attempt at deflection can not change the facts", she said in prepared remarks. The U.S. says it suspects that sarin gas also was used.

Russia's envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said his country has warned the USA against striking Syria, stating that "Russia has warned US representatives, publicly as well as through proper channels, over the grave consequences that could arise if these strikes happen and whether deliberately or otherwise Russian citizens are hurt".