Russian ambassador warns effect of USA attack on Syria


Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that U.S. threats to use force in Syria is in violation of global law.

French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly said all French aircraft had returned safely from their mission. He noted that Moscow so far has heeded Western requests not to provide the missiles to Damascus, but said it may now reconsider. Huge blasts were reported around Damascus early today, moments after the US, France, and Britain announced they were striking Syria's chemical weapons capabilities.

In Geneva, UN war crimes investigators condemned on Friday the suspected use of chemical weapons in Douma and called for evidence to be preserved with a view to future prosecutions.

No evidence has been shared by Macron, Lavrov or the Russian defence ministry.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, an independent body established by the UN Human Rights Council, says it has confirmed at least 34 chemical attacks since 2013.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Lavrov reiterated a strong warning to the West against military action in Syria, saying any such "adventures" in Syria would increase flows of refugees into Europe.

Fyodor Lukyanov, head of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policies, an association of top Russian foreign policy and security experts, said on state TV that Moscow's warning to strike back "clearly hasn't come unnoticed by the Pentagon, and the strike was quite careful". "And it was not about regime change".

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The council failed on Tuesday to approve three draft resolutions on chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Britain says Russian Federation is behind the Salisbury poisoning, a charge Moscow denies.

Russia's Ministry of Defense said it believed the action by the US, UK and France was not in retaliation to the alleged chemical attack in Douma but instead was a reaction to the "success" of the Syrian army in liberating its territory from rebels. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

"The military operation was necessary and appropriate to preserve the effectiveness of the global ban on the use of chemical weapons and to warn the Syrian regime of further violations", she said in a statement voicing support for the joint US, UK and French action.

An Israeli official told CNN that the strikes enforced the red line drawn by President Trump a year ago.

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

"Without the sanction of the UN Security Council, in breach of the UN charter and the norms and principles of global law, an act of aggression was committed against a sovereign state", the Kremlin said.