White House considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation after Syria gas attack


Russia may have tampered with the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria., the US envoy to the global watchdog said Monday, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied allegations of interference.

Russia's deputy foreign minister said the delay was due to USA air strikes.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday said the military strikes on Syria were not about regime change, but about sending a clear message that the global community will not stand by and tolerate the use of chemical weapons. The inspectors met Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official in Damascus for about three hours on Sunday.

Inspectors in Syria have still not gained access to Douma.

This comes days after the US, Britain, and France conducted "precision strikes" in Syria on Friday in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government.

For the near future, the strikes suggest that the White House has no intention of withdrawing 2,000 US troops now in Syria, as Trump suggested on April 4 that he intends to do.

"We are considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation and a decision will be made in the near future", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The confused announcement and walk-back outlined in the report came just days after the U.S., along with the United Kingdom and France, ordered strikes on Syrian facilities in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack and as the Trump administration has ramped up criticism of Russian Federation for its support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

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Responding to Haley's remarks, Evgeny Serebrennikov, deputy head of a Russian parliamentary defence committee, said Moscow was ready for the penalties. "We are evaluating but nothing to announce right now", she said. The Russian vetoes have been one of the main irritants in strained relations between Washington and Moscow, with Western diplomats accusing Russia of trying to protect the Assad government.

The Associated Press reported late Monday (Thailand time) that its journalists visited Douma on a government-approved media trip, and spoke to residents who described a terrifying gas attack on April 7.

Witnesses and Western governments say helicopters dropped chemical bombs that killed many children and women hiding in cellars from bombardment.

He said: "I'm afraid the Syrian war will go on in its terrible, miserable way".

"The objective of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons", Trump said.

US President Donald Trump tweeted "Mission Accomplished" on Saturday after US, French and British military aircraft and warships launched more than 100 cruise missiles inside Syria over the suspected poison gas attack.

At least that's according to U.S. Ambassador Kenneth, who told members of a watchdog group that Russian officials were helping Syrian forces hide any evidence of the attack.

Britain has said there are no plans for future strikes against Syria, but Johnson warned Assad that all options would be considered if chemical weapons were used against Syrians again. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, has questioned the legal basis for Britain's involvement.