Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Threat of US-Russia clash hangs over Syria

Threat of US-Russia clash hangs over Syria

He said that the Syrian leader had launched a "savage" chemical weapons attack previously and again recently.

"This is not about intervening in a civil war".

Trump did broadly vow that the USA and its allies would use all their powers to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, but that was right before Defense Secretary Jim Mattis acknowledged that the airstrikes were limited to three targets, and that no further strikes were planned. "Our intelligence tells us otherwise".

A team of experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was travelling to Syria and will start its investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based agency said.

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking Assad, who is also supported by Iran, and says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, a town near Damascus which had been held by rebels until this month.

French President Emmanuel Macron says his nation, the United States and Britain have launched a military operation against the Syrian government's "clandestine chemical arsenal".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has been urging caution in meetings, trying to avoid a strike that would trigger a broader conflict, two U.S. officials said. Former Pentagon and White House security official Julieanne Smith pointed out on Twitter Friday night that neither needed to restrict their responses to Syria and could threaten USA forces and interests elsewhere around the globe if they chose.

The chairman of the global affairs committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, described the air strikes as a groundless attack on a sovereign government, Interfax said. Some U.S. media had said Washington was confident Assad had also used sarin on April 7.

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

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This strike does not come as a surprise as Trump tweeted a number of tweets on Thursday on the issue.

Asked about the risks of US military retaliation, Mattis cited two concerns, starting with avoiding civilian casualties. A US guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

"The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep". More broadly, he doubted the wisdom of bombing. "We thank them both".

"We can not tolerate the recurring use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security", a statement from the Elysee presidential office said.

At stake in Syria is the potential for confrontation, if not outright conflict, between the US and Russian Federation, former Cold War foes whose relations have deteriorated in recent years over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine, its interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria", Trump responded on Twitter.

At the House hearing, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, disputed Trump's legal authority to act without congressional authority and suggested a US strike would lead to war with Russian Federation. A USA -led coalition has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since September 2014 as part of a largely successful effort to break the IS grip on both Syria and Iraq.

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest", May said.

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