United Nations rejects Russian attempt to condemn U.S. aggression in Syria

17 April, 2018, 15:44 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Dutch counterpart in Moscow

But US officials have blamed Russian Federation for failing to rein in its Syrian ally, as the guarantor of a 2013 agreement to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons. Russia's insistent warnings that a US airstrike could bring Russian retaliation - and the United States' apparent effort to avoid threatening Russian assets in its assault - showed that strategy at work. Moscow's response shows Washington appears to have succeeded in delivering a blow that did not provoke Russian Federation militarily.

Assad is known to have stocks of the nerve agent sarin, and has previously used a mixture of chlorine and sarin in attacks, according to USA officials. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the British accusation that Russian Federation was to blame for holding up the inspections was "groundless".

Although officials said the singular target was Assad's chemical weapons capability, his air force, including helicopters he allegedly has used to drop chemical weapons on civilians, were spared.

Putin said Russian military experts did not find any traces of chlorine gas or other poisonous substances in the area where Syrian government forces are alleged to have launched a chemical weapon attack, namely, in the rebel-held district of Douma near capital Damascus.

Russian military police had been deployed in Douma, raising complaints from the Syrian opposition that evidence of chemical weapons use might no longer be found.

Though military strikes on Russia-backed Syria were the larger effect, others will follow, she said.

President Putin issued a statement very early this morning on Saturday saying that - calling it an act of aggression against a sovereign state.

Russian lawmaker Dmitry Sablin, who met with Assad, said he appeared upbeat and believed the airstrikes would unify the country. He described the USA airstrike as the latest in two decades of American-led interventions that, in the Kremlin's telling, have unwound the global order. Russian officials beyond Mr. Putin have suggested that the aim of these USA -led airstrikes were essentially to prevent the OPCW from carrying out its work.

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Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the U.S. military had kept its strikes limited because it knew a wider attack would spark retaliation from Damascus and its allies and inflame the region.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Marine General Joseph Dunford said chemical weapons facilities were targeted by missiles fired from the sea and from aircraft.

Syrian television reported that a scientific research center had been hit and that Syrian air defenses had hit 13 incoming rockets south of Damascus.

United Nations partner the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has dispatched a fact-finding team to the location.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has kept tight state control over much of the media under his rule.

"Not a single one of the cruise missiles entered the zone of Russian air-defence systems", the Ministry of Defence said.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May shared a similar sentiment in her public address, saying the strikes have not escalated tensions in the region and that everything had been done "to prevent civilian casualties".

MAYNES: Well, it was, and it still is, I think.

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