Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Russia's U.S. ambassador warns of consequences for Syria strikes

US President Donald Trump's threat of military retaliation in Syria have raised risks of a direct confrontation with Russia US President Donald Trump's threat of military retaliation in Syria have raised risks of a direct confrontation with Russia
Gerardo Duncan | 14 April, 2018, 22:17

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said President Donald Trump "has not yet made a decision about possible actions in Syria".

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", he added.

One senior official said Trump has asked his military to consider options that would include punishing Russian Federation and Iran, Syria's main foreign backers, in part over the president's growing level of exasperation with Putin.

Trump himself appeared on Thursday to cast doubt on at least the timing of any USA -led military action, tweeting: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

"We have a very high confidence that Syria was responsible and, once again, Russia's failure to stop them and their continued (lack of action) on this front has been part of the problem", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

He noted that Russian and US militaries have a hotline to prevent incidents, adding that it's not clear if it would be sufficient amid mounting tensions. "The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", he told reporters.

Trump warned on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the Douma incident.

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has responded angrily to the strikes, while Syrian state media called them a "flagrant violation of global law".

A fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is expected to head to Douma, the site of the suspected attack. The medics said none of the patients were hurt by chemicals. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Western intervention in Syria would "lead to new waves of migrants to Europe".

The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday accused Britain of staging a fake chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend, a bold charge that comes amid Moscow's stern warnings to the West against striking Syria.

Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a United States strike could lead to a conflict with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

The capture of Douma has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a centre of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his unassailable position in the war.

"The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries".

"The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue using chemical weapons".

Any U.S. strike would probably involve the Navy.

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