Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Russian Federation warns U.S. to avoid steps that could destabilize Syria

Russian Federation warns U.S. to avoid steps that could destabilize Syria

Perhaps in preparation for a strike, Syria repositioned some of its aircraft from bases earlier in the week, a USA official told ABC News. However, there was no official announcement from Syria on the matter and there was also no indication of Syrian government forces entering the city Thursday.

Syria and its main ally, Russia, have denied that any chemical weapons were used and gave permission for the OPCW to investigate.

Trump vowed a "strong" response the day after the April 7 attack - since then, he has been in consultation with his military advisors, and allies France and Britain, on what form that should take.

Western powers have been increasingly categorical in laying responsibility with Syria's Bashar al-Assad - and Moscow.

President Trump's order to strike Syria Friday night was as predictable as his Saturday morning tweet storms.

Macron kept up the drumbeat for likely war with his claim of evidence that chemical weapons were used in the attack, although he did not elaborate.

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President Donald Trump has been threatening to attack Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons strike.

Asked about concerns in planning a strike on Assad's regime, Mattis cited worry over inadvertently causing civilian casualties and avoiding anything that would trigger a wider war.

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In the meantime, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she had authorized British armed forces "to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability".

In response, Russia's Foreign Ministry said, "Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not towards the lawful government".

He added ominously, "Hopefully someday we'll get along with Russian Federation, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not".

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Inspectors will today start investigations on the ground into the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, as Britain, the USA and France continue to finalise a response.

"The situation in Syria is horrific, the use of chemical weapons is something the world has to prevent", Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said, adding, "But also it's a very, very delicate circumstance and we've got to make this judgment on a very careful, very deliberate, very well thought-through basis".

Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that airstrikes are imminent in Syria, declaring missiles "will be coming".

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned against a missile strike, writing on Facebook Wednesday that it could destroy evidence on the ground and interrupt the work of global investigators. "We will not sacrifice the worldwide order that we have collectively to the Russian desire to protect its ally at all costs".

The strikes that hit early Saturday in Syria came hours before inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were set to arrive to inspect the site of the apparent attack. "This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons used by that very bad regime'" he said.

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