Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Noting threat of missile strikes, airlines clear skies over Syria

Noting threat of missile strikes, airlines clear skies over Syria

U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected poison gas attack, declaring that missiles "will be coming" and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"Since Trump tweeted its initial threats the regime has completely changed its military deployments, particularly its air force, which in turn disrupted its air campaign", said Michael Horowitz, a senior analyst at the Le Beck geopolitical consultancy.

It also said Russian officers found no patients with chemical attack symptoms at a local hospital, and no indication of any burials having taken place of the victims.

US President Donald Trump also backed off his Twitter claim on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming", saying a military response "could be very soon or not soon at all".

Speaking to reporters after a closed emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Nebenzia said Russian Federation was concerned with "the unsafe escalation" of the situation, and "aggressive policies" and preparations that some governments were making - a clear reference to the USA and the Trump administration and allies. The White House said it was continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies about how to respond.

Macron said Thursday on French national television France has proof that the Syrian government launched chlorine gas attacks and has crossed a line that could prompt French airstrikes.

Trump has claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration has used chemical weapons.

United States ambassador Nikki Haley said to the BBC that the United States has "enough proof" that Syria was behind the chemical attack. USA lawmakers questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to order strikes without Congressional approval and opposition parties voiced concern.

Russian Federation said it deployed military police in Douma on Thursday after the town was taken over by government forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday accused Britain of staging a fake chemical attack in a Syrian town outside Damascus, a bold charge vehemently denied by Britain as a "blatant lie".

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This would increase the risk of a clash with the Russian forces in Syria to defend Assad, and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council to beware a "full-blown military escalation".

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", he told reporters.

"I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence", the Pentagon chief told the lawmakers.

Shamanov emphasized that a retaliatory Russian strike could target USA navy ships and aircraft.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said Syria's use of chemical weapons should not be tolerated.

More cautious observers contend that the move would be unsafe They point to Russian, Syrian, and Iranian air defense systems deployed inside the country that can potentially shoot down US air power.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke Thursday warning the West against attacking Syria, labelling accusations about the suspected chemical attack on Douma "fabricated".

Nervous world stock markets showed signs of recovery after Trump's signal that military strikes might not be imminent.

The country said it is "highly likely" chemical weapons were used and ministers agreed action was necessary to "deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", but the shape that any military involvement by the United Kingdom would take was not specified. None of the three countries' leaders had made a firm decision, according to the officials, who were not authorized to discuss military planning publicly.

State news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday quoted Andrei Krasov, deputy chairman of the State Duma's defence committee, as saying that Russian Federation will treat a USA airstrike on Syria "not just as an act of aggression but a war crime of the Western coalition".

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