Russian Federation says Syria chemical attack was 'staged'
Apr 16 2018 by Desiree Burns
During a phone call late on Thursday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump agreed on the need to deter chemical weapon use in Syria.
Trump said the goal of the campaign was to "establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons".
Syria's air defense system, which mostly consists of systems made in the Soviet Union, has intercepted 71 of the missiles fired on Saturday by the U.S., British and French forces, he added.
"The current escalation of the situation around Syria has a devastating impact on the whole system of global relations", he added.
None of the cruise missiles launched by the USA and its allies entered the zone of responsibility of the Russian air defenses, including the Tartus naval base and the Hmeymim airbase in Syria, the statement read.
"So, in theory, all of us agree on the core principle at stake today: no country can be allowed to use chemical weapons with impunity", Haley said. The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by the rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.
The accusation has been strongly denied by the Bashar al-Assad government in Damascus.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a news briefing Thursday that the threat to use force against a member state of the United Nations is a "blatant violation of the UN Charter".
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Russian Federation has "indisputable" data that the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma was staged by "foreign agents", Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are expected to arrive in Syria over the weekend to investigate the reported attack, following an invitation from Damascus.
Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a US strike could lead to a conflict with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.
Turkey, an important player in the Syrian conflict, said it viewed the airstrikes as "an appropriate response" to the Douma attack. Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that a new round of sanctions will target Russian companies that aid Syria's chemical weapons capabilities.
"We welcome this operation which has eased humanity's conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the regime", Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Australia's defense minister issued a statement in support of the strikes, calling them "a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response".
"A perfectly executed strike last night".
However, Iran - another key ally of the Assad government - condemned the strikes.
The Violations Documentation Centre, which records alleged violations of worldwide law in Syria, said bodies were found with foam at the mouth, discoloured skin and burns to the eyes.