Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Russian Federation tables draft resolution likely to condemn US-led strikes on Syria

Russian Federation tables draft resolution likely to condemn US-led strikes on Syria

The resolution is most likely to condemn the missile attacks on Syria carried out jointly by the United States, France and Britain on Friday. The OPCW team is tasked with determining whether banned substances were used in the Douma attack, a charge that both Syria and its ally Russian Federation vehemently denied.

Russian Federation and Syria also clashed with the three Western allies over the legality of the airstrikes and responsibility for the Security Council's paralysis.

But Moscow blamed the delay on the Western air strikes.

"That's what we've always done and will continue to do", May said.

But the United Kingdom envoy to the OPCW said in a tweet Monday that "Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma". The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.

He criticized the USA and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for worldwide inspectors to complete their visit to the area. And Trump has really, you know, singled out Putin, saying that he personally bears responsibility for Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons.

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Sunday that Western strikes on Syria had failed to achieve anything, including terrorizing the army, helping insurgents or serving the interests of Israel.

President Vladimir Putin said that the military action launched by the USA, in cooperation with Britain and France, was "an act of aggression" against a sovereign state and strongly condemned the act.

In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation", Haley said that the sanctions would be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Appearing live on French television BFM and online investigative site Mediapart, the 40-year-old leader said the US, Britain and France had "full global legitimacy to intervene" with the strikes, to enforce worldwide humanitarian law.

But it added that no Russian air defenses were deployed against the incoming fire, even though thousands of its troops are stationed across Syria in support of Russian ally Assad.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said its partners reported some 500 people there had exhibited "signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals".

Hours later, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff attended a Pentagon briefing to provide details into the launch of the offensive, while remaining tight lipped about its result.

He spoke as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) watchdog held an urgent meeting.

One of the sites struck on Saturday, the Barzeh research and development center, has always been known to American intelligence officials and to global inspectors, according to a senior intelligence official.

Russia's defence ministry says 71 of a complete of 103 cruise missiles have been intercepted by Syrian air defences.

The strikes were a response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Douma last weekend which killed dozens of civilians.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the Assad government's use of chemical weapons was "persistent" and must be stopped to protect innocent lives in Syria. "I think that's the right approach", Haley added.

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