Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Russian Federation slams joint airstrikes in Syria

Russian Federation slams joint airstrikes in Syria

Russian Federation has condemned US, UK and French strikes against targets in Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons as the Western allies argued they were essential to deter the future use of illegal munitions.

"All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris".

The US president claimed that the joint action was meant to establish a "strong deterrent" against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons.

But US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis struck a cautious note, telling lawmakers that the need to "stop the murder of innocent people" had to be weighed up against the risk of things "escalating out of control". He ordered the strikes without the approval of Congress, The New York Times reports.

The Russian military has claimed the chemical attack in Syria was orchestrated by the United Kingdom but has offered no proof.

But he also appeared anxious to avoid a wider conflict, saying France would "in no way allow an escalation".

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Worldwide investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog are in Syria and were due to start their inquiry on Saturday into the suspected toxic gas attack.

Senior EU officials said today evidence clearly pointed to the Syrian regime in investigations over a gas attack on the town of Douma, which killed dozens of people on April 7.

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.

The U.S. launched a series of strikes in Syria, targeting chemical weapons facilities and a research center using both aircrafts and ships, President Trump announced Friday night.

Since Saturday, when images of ashen toddlers struggling for breath emerged, there has been a sustained military buildup in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and risky actions ... that would have consequences beyond conjecture".

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Any strike risks a confrontation with Russian Federation, which is a key ally of Assad. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov upped the diplomatic ante earlier in the day Friday when he called the allegations of a Syrian chemical attack a "fabrication" by British intelligence.

He noted that OPCW's report didn't contain any mention of BZ, adding that Russian Federation will ask the chemical weapons watchdog for an explanation.

Nebenzia also called for the UN Security Council to meet again on Friday to discuss the possibility of Western military action. United States lawmakers questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to order strikes without Congressional approval and opposition parties voiced concern.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the strikes were a "one-time shot" and that no additional airstrikes were now planned.

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