Top brass: Missiles of US, allies steered clear of Russian air defenses

Russia reportedly jamming US drones in Syria

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On Thursday the British government agreed after hours of deliberation to "take action" " alongside the United States and France over the attack.

Karen Pierce, Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, said Russia's claims were "grotesque, freaky and a blatant lie". Russian leaders heavily criticized the strike, but they made no attempt to bring down the missiles and no military retaliation followed. The medics said none of the patients were hurt by chemicals.

Konashenkov said the Syrian rescue group known as the White Helmets were instructed by London in the days before the attack to plan a "provocation", Tass reported. He added that the Russian military has proof of British involvement, but didn't immediately present it.

Retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former head of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and an NBC News analyst, warned that any US strike on Syria would likely require manned aircraft and characterized it as a "high-risk operation".

At another point, Trump blamed the bad relationship on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russians who sought to influence the 2016 presidential election through hacks and fake news.

He added without elaboration that Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication".

He did not elaborate or name the state. At the same time, and somewhat paradoxically, Trump is also offering cooperation to Russian Federation on a range of issues including arms control.

Russia's envoy Nebenzia called on the United States, France and Britain "not to bring the world to such a unsafe threshold".

Trump had also said last week that Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in Douma because of his support for the Syrian government.

The actions by the United States and its allies will not go without consequences.

France and Russian Federation have instructed their defense and foreign ministers to maintain close contact in order to avoid an escalation of the situation in Syria, the Kremlin said on Friday.

He asked U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres to call an open meeting of the U.N. Security Council for Friday.

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While Trump himself was silent on Syria on Friday, giving no further clues on whether American military action is imminent, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington estimated that Assad's forces had used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-old Syrian conflict. She said of the alleged chemical attack that "Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups".

At the White House on Thursday, Trump discussed Syria with national security aides, including Mattis, Joints Chief of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford and USA ambassador to the United States Nikki Haley.

The strike on Syria is a ill-thought and provocative step by the U.S. that can lead to unpredictable consequences, said his colleague, Yuri Shvytkin a deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee.

Trump has been in talks with Britain and France to secure a joint response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in the rebel- held town of Douma.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Mr Lavrov reiterated a strong warning to the West against military action in Syria, saying it would increase flows of refugees into Europe.

"God forbid anything adventurous will be done in Syria following the Libyan and Iraqi experience", Lavrov said.

US intelligence shows a Russian claim that the attack was faked was false, Sanders said.

Iran, which has also backed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad since the conflict began in 2011, also warned of "regional consequences". That sealed a major victory for Assad in Syria's civil war, crushing a protracted rebellion in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.

Mr Yakovenko said that global inspectors were expected in Syria on Saturday, adding: "But I believe that any delay may be used to carry out military strikes to cover up all the evidence, or lack there of, on the ground", he said. The Russian military and the Syrian government said they would facilitate the mission and ensure the inspectors' security.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any U.S. missile strike could be an attempt to destroy evidence of the reported chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma, for which Damascus and Moscow have denied any responsibility. It also said Russian officers found no patients with chemical attack symptoms at a local hospital, and no indication of any burials of victims.

Possibly, Trump is "considering military options" that would "inflict costs on Russian Federation and Iran directly" and "will not limit" United States strikes to Syrian targets, she suggested.

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