Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Allies keep Syria options open as Britain says no strikes planned

Allies keep Syria options open as Britain says no strikes planned

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has spoken highly of the Soviet-made weapons involved in thwarting the missile strike on Syria carried out by the USA, the United Kingdom and France, member of Russia's State Duma (lower house of parliament) Sergei Zheleznyak said on Sunday following meeting between Russian lawmakers and the Syrian president.

The US, France and Britain launched 105 missiles against Syria on Saturday, targeting three sites they said were linked to a chemical weapons programme. "We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will", she said.

Asked about U.S. -Russia relations, Haley said ties were "very strained" but that the United States still hoped for a better relationship.

United Nations chemical weapons inspectors who arrived in Syria at the weekend have promised to investigate what happened in Douma despite the air strikes against chemical weapons installations.

"Will this deter Assad from using chemical weapons again?" After meeting with him in Damascus, he revealed what Assad really did following the attack. "We know that it is now up to Bashar al-Assad on whether he's going to use chemical weapons again".

Abdulrazek defected from the program in 2012, when he was based in eastern Ghouta, the suburb hit by a chemical attack in 2013 and allegedly again on April 7.

Trump said a small American force over the past year has virtually eliminated Islamic State control over what once was a vast territory spanning parts of Syria and Iraq.

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said the legal basis used to support the British role was debatable, adding that he would only support action backed by the UN Security Council.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by phone and agreed that the Western airstrikes were an "illegal action. adversely impacting prospects for political settlement in Syria".

Syria released video of the wreckage of a bombed-out research lab, but also of Assad arriving at work as usual, with the caption "Morning of resilience" and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Western powers blamed President Bashar al-Assad, but Syria and its ally Russian Federation categorically denied the claims and accused the West of "fabricating" the incident to justify military action.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump stated that he wants to get US troops out of Syria relatively soon, but that they would have to stay a little longer to helpfully defeat the Daesh terrorist group there. Are we staying there now to topple Assad, to counter Iran, to check Russian Federation, to help the Kurds, to buttress Israel, to rebuild our relationships with Turkey?

But until this weekend, they have refrained from targeting Assad's government, apart from a volley of United States missiles a year ago.

"We assess that both sarin and chlorine were used in the attack", the official said. Chlorine, in contrast, has been used more widely in Syria's conflict without past United States reprisals and is far easier to find and weaponise, experts say.

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