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Russian diplomat calls U.S. strike on Syria 'treacherous act of aggression'

Russian diplomat calls U.S. strike on Syria 'treacherous act of aggression'”

Members of the Trump administration, including USA defence secretary Jim Mattis, suggested that the focus of the strike had to be narrowed down to chemical weapon sites to minimise civilian casualties and avoid an escalation with Mr Assad's backers, Iran and Russian Federation. The Brookings Institution's Martin Indyk gave President Trump "three cheers" for "enforcing the line against Syrian chemical weapons use".

Opposition sources say Dumair airport is a major air base used in a large-scale military campaign waged by theSyrian army with Russian firepower that regained eastern Ghouta, a rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus.

An worldwide inspection mission to Syria looked in question Tuesday after Western powers which accused Damascus of using chemical weapons warned that evidence had likely been removed.

And while last November's OPCW-UN report pinned the blame for the April 2017 chemical-weapons attack on Assad, the late investigative journalist Robert Parry pointed out that the report also contained evidence that "more than 100 victims of sarin exposure were taken to several area hospitals before the alleged Syrian warplane could have struck the town of Khan Sheikhoun".

Negotiations on the draft resolution are set to begin on Monday, but diplomats remain unclear when the UN Security Council would vote on the proposal.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal condemned the air strikes as "not only unconstitutional" but also as possibly "escalating a conflict that could send us into a war with multiple countries". It is still unclear how effective the strikes will be against Syria's regime. "Chemical weapons have been prohibited for decades and we must enforce this prohibition". What Syrians need is not more bombs and missiles, but an end to the war, which has killed at least 400,000 people in seven years.

The Western military response comes as the Syrian regime, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, has largely turned the war in its favor, retaking large swaths of territory from rebels since Russian Federation intervened in 2015. "Syria and Russian Federation have zero interest in escalating with America" at a time Washington is signalling it will pull back from Syria.

US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned of the risks of being drawn into "a greater and more involved war in Syria".

"There are certainly various asymmetric means through which Russia, Syria and Iran could respond inside Syria or outside", said Heller. It also has troops in Iraq, where Iran-backed militias hold considerable sway. "If al-Assad and his allies can weaken the SDF, they can crack the foundation of the USA military's planning for Syria".

"That possibility always has to be taken into account, and investigators will look for evidence that shows whether the incident site has been tampered with", Ralf Trapp, a consultant and member of a previous OPCW mission to Syria, told AFP.

As of Monday morning, neither Syria nor its Russian or Iranian allies retaliated, Pentagon officials said.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has denounced the missile strikes by the US, France and the United Kingdom as an "act of aggression" that would exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Such a move would restrict Israel's freedom to maneuver across Syria's skies.

Were they to see the images she sees of bloodshed, torture, and bodies being pulled from the rubble, she believes Canadians would rise up and demand action, as they did in 2015 when a photograph of a lifeless Syrian toddler on a Turkish beach prompted an outpouring of humanitarian action.



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