Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russian diplomat calls USA strike on Syria 'treacherous act of aggression'

Russian diplomat calls USA strike on Syria 'treacherous act of aggression'

A spirited debate is expected.

Almost three days after the United States, France, and the United Kingdom joined forces to attack alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, little is known about the impact of the attack.

The say the airstrikes last Saturday by the three nations were "limited, proportionate and necessary" and followed "only after exhausting every possible diplomatic option to uphold the worldwide norm against the use of chemical weapons".

Jean-Claude Juncker says the suspected use of poison gas last week in the Syrian city of Douma was - as he puts it - a "heinous chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime".

His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the US -led invasion of Iraq.

The strikes on Syrian facilities delivered by the United States and its allies are a treacherous act of aggression against a sovereign state, Russia's Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin said on Monday after an OPCW Executive Council session.

Haley made clear the United States won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying US involvement there "is not done".

Hours earlier, Syrian government-run media said the country's air defenses confronted a new "aggression", shooting down missiles over the central region of Homs and a suburb of Damascus.

Barrel bombs are large containers that are packed with fuel, explosives and scraps of metal.

At least 70 people were killed, but the Syrian government denies the attack.

It did not elaborate or say who carried out the airstrikes. President Donald Trump said not one was intercepted.

The assessment cites "the absence to date of chemical samples analyzed by our own laboratories".

Russia's response thus far has been a mixture of indignation and threatening posturings.

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In a UN Security Council session Saturday, American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that the USA was "locked and loaded" to take aim at Syria again if Assad uses chemical weapons again.

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Meanwhile, NATO's secretary general said the US -led airstrikes will reduce the Syrian government's capabilities of carrying out new chemical attacks. The team arrived in Syria shortly before the airstrikes and met with Syrian officials.

After a weekend of global anxiety following Western led-airstrikes in Syria on Saturday, the dust seems to have settled and it appears that, at least for now, the dreaded scenario of a military standoff between the West and Russian Federation in the Middle East will not happen.

The United States and its allies "were not going to let that stand", she said, adding that Mr. Trump had told her that the United States was "locked and loaded" and ready to strike again should Syria use banned weapons again.

"And on Wednesday is when we plan the arrival of the OPCW experts", a senior Russian official said in The Hague on Monday.

Putin added that the strike had a "destructive influence on the entire system of worldwide relations".

Asked about Trump's "Mission Accomplished" assertion, White said it pointed to the successful targeting of the three Syrian chemical weapons sites.

The issue had been dealt with by Russian experts, said the commander, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The operation also drew support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the European Union, and other key USA allies.

"Instead of weakening the government, it only made it stronger", he said.

Pictures from satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe show sites including the Barzah Research and Development Centre and the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility have been reduced to rubble.

Syrian media is now attributing the incident to a false alarm, and not a missile strike from an unknown attacker.

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