Putin Dampens Tensions, as US, French, UK Strike on Syria Looms

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The UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting at Russia's request on the "threat to global peace" from possible air strikes on Syria by the United States and its allies. She noted in the meeting that Russian Federation "has stopped at nothing to defend the Syrian regime's multiple uses of chemical weapons". "Russian Federation will demand a meeting of the UN Security Council, I think, for sure", Dzhabarov, who is the deputy head of Russia's foreign affairs committee, was quoted by RIA as saying.

Donald Trump abandoned his instincts as an impulsive and go-it-alone president in Syria, deliberating at length with his military commanders and working closely with US allies in Europe to confront President Bashar al-Assad for an alleged chemical weapons attack.

"It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian Federation propaganda machine".

Chemical weapons experts for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Syria to investigate the suspected poison gas attack.

Worldwide 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.

With tensions growing, however, European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol warned airlines to exercise caution in the eastern Mediterranean due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria over the next 72 hours.

Asked about Trump's tweet about an impending attack on Syria, former Defense Secretary William Cohen, who ran the Pentagon for President Bill Clinton, said on CNN that it "compromises the mission somewhat".

"To make matters worse, it is Russian Federation alone that had agreed to be the guarantor of the removal of all chemical weapons from Syria", Haley said.

Konashenkov said that "powerful pressure from London was exerted on representatives of the so-called White Helmets to quickly stage the premeditated provocation". United States ambassador Nikki Haley said to the BBC that the United States has "enough proof" that Syria was behind the chemical attack.

Britain's UN Ambassador Karen Pierce meanwhile rejected a charge by a Russian defence ministry spokesman that Britain was involved in staging a fake chemical weapons attack in Douma.

For the US, undermining the Russian role in Syria is the main goal, while for Israel, eliminating the Iranian role is the main goal.

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She suggested that clarity about U.S. objectives was necessary to determine the appropriate targets for military action, even as Trump has said he wants USA forces to leave Syria within six months.

Russian Federation has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" created to justify Western intervention.

"We warned about this long ago", he said.

Since last year's strike, multiple chemical attacks have been reported in opposition areas, a lot of them involving chlorine rather than the nerve agent sarin, as was used in 2017, suggesting the government may have adjusted its tactics.

After taunting Russian Federation in his tweets, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Facebook that "smart" missiles would destroy any evidence of a suspected chemical weapons attack.

His comments raised the prospect of direct conflict over Syria for the first time between the two world powers backing opposing sides in the seven-year-old civil war, which has aggravated instability across the Middle East. Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!", he threatened.

As fears of a Russia confrontation with Western powers mount, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" over the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down US forces for years.

"Did a chemical weapons attack happen?" The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

Western officials believe chlorine was used in Saturday's attack on Douma, the main city in the longtime rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, where the British government now estimates 75 people were killed.

The capture of Douma from rebels who evacuated this week has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a center of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his seemingly unassailable position in the war.

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