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15 April 2018, 08:14 | Opal Carroll
Threat of Western Strike on Syria What is Known So Far REUTERS U.S. Navy
On April 7, several media outlets, citing Syrian militants, accused Damascus of carrying out a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma, located in Eastern Ghouta.
On Wednesday, even though Mr Trump had previously said he would not "broadcast" his moves in Syria, he said in a post on Twitter that missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'".
Asked about possible USA strikes on Syria, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria". "I just want to remind you one more time it's 2018, it's not the middle of the 20th century", she said, adding that in a time of instant communications there's no reason "why people who are in charge of our security and worldwide peace can't talk".
Another US official familiar with how the US intelligence is unfolding regarding the chemical attack tells CNN that the initial intelligence assessment - that a chemical agent was used - is based on viewing the videos and comparing the shown physical effects with what is known about both chlorine and nerve agents. "Russia promises to shoot down all the missiles used in Syria".
Since the alleged chemical weapons attack, Moscow has announced that Douma is "totally stabilized" and will be patrolled by Russian military police.
Analysts agreed that in striking Syria without U.N. authorization - impossible given Russia's repeated vetoes on the Security Council - the United States, Britain, France were relying instead on a nebulous concept of "legal morality".
"It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that", said Trump, as Defense Secretary James Mattis headed to the West Wing to present options for a retaliatory strike.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the goal of the groundless reports about alleged chemical attacks was to provide cover for terrorists and justify the use of military force against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russian Federation and Syria have been calling for the global investigation of the alleged attack.
After Ms. May met with her Cabinet, a spokesperson issued a statement saying it is highly likely that Syria's President Bashar Assad was responsible for Saturday's attack that killed dozens outside Damascus. United States lawmakers questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to order strikes without Congressional approval and opposition parties voiced concern. Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration will follow whatever laws and regulations were necessary for any actions that it takes. The fact-finding mission of the OPCW is to start their work in Douma on Saturday.
Western threats only increase regional instability - Assad
Meanwhile, the Russian military said the Syrian government is now in full control of Duoma, once held by rebels opposing Assad. It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any USA military action.
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