West hesitates on Syria response as Russian Federation warns of 'war'

Vassily Nebenzia

Vassily Nebenzia

Trump said the strikes were meant to deter the use of chemical weapons like the attack on civilians in the Syrian town of Douma last week, and that the USA was prepared to continue the attacks until the Syrian regime stops using chemical weapons.

On Friday, Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, warned of "consequences" after the allied attacks.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said no decision had been taken on military action and stressed the importance of carefully assessing all the implications.

In a statement, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia supported the strikes, which sent "an unequivocal message to the Assad regime and its backers, Russian Federation and Iran, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated".

Russian Federation has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and has helped turn the tide of war in his favor since entering the conflict in September 2015.

President Donald Trump criticized Russian Federation in his address to the country following the launch of missiles on Friday night.

Russia's Ministry of Defense spokesperson Maj.

US, British and French forces pounded Syria with more than 100 missiles early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week, in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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"Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime", Mattis said.

The strikes were condemned by Russian Federation.

"In 2013, President [Vladimir] Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons", Trump said.

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are expected to arrive in Syria over the weekend to investigate the reported attack, following an invitation from Damascus.

Later, a White House briefing on a call between Trump and May said that they "continued their discussion of the need for a joint response to Syria's use of chemical weapons".

The warning from Moscow came as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that increasing tensions over Syria could lead to "full-blown military escalation".

The US "specifically identified" targets to "mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved", Dunford said.

The Foreign Minister stated that his country knows that intelligence services are behind the sketch carried out to blame the Syrian government for throwing toxic substances on the civilian population.

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