Trump pledges swift U.S. response to Syria chemical attack

Joanna Estrada
April 11, 2018

On Saturday, activists said the Syrian forces used chlorine gas in an attack against Douma, the last rebel-held area in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus.

The Kremlin spokesman said that there was as yet no agreement on the date for a proposed meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin. "We are meeting our military. and we'll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours", Trump said.

The UN Secretary General has called for global investigators to have unfettered access after the alleged chemical attack in Syria.

"Through the relevant channels we already conveyed to the United States that armed force under a mendacious pretext against Syria where - at the request of the legitimate government of a country, Russian troops have been deployed - could lead to grave repercussions. We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done", Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told an emergency Security Council briefing on Saturday's attack.

"Without any grounds and without thinking about the consequences, the governments of the USA, the United Kingdom, and France are pursuing a confrontational policy towards Russia and Syria and are pushing the others toward this", Nebenzya was quoted as saying by Russian state-run news agency TASS.

Options included the sort of largely symbolic airstrike Trump ordered a year ago in response to a similar chemical attack blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, or a wider and riskier assault, the New York Times said.

When did the conflict in Syria begin?

The veto from Russian Federation was largely expected. Bolivia voted against the draft resolution, while China abstained.

The United States has repeatedly offered measures to establish an independent UN investigation of who is behind the chemical attacks in Syria. Haley said Russia's obstructionism will "not continue to hold us hostage when we are confronted" with an attack like this one.

Experts on Syria's war cited France and perhaps even Britain and Middle East allies as potential partners in any United States military operation, which would aim to discourage future chemical weapons use in Syria's brutal civil war.President Emmanuel Macron warned in February that France would strike Syria if it broke treaties prohibiting chemical weapons.

"China's position on chemical weapons has been consistent and clear: we are firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any state, organization or individual under any circumstances".

Mr Nebenzia said a fact-finding mission from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) should go to Damascus, and would be protected by Russian and Syrian soldiers. "But it stands with the Assad regime and supports it without hesitation", Haley said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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