Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Most rockets in Western attacks on Syria were intercepted: Russian Federation

Syria claims a third of the missiles fired during the US-led air strikes were shot down Syria claims a third of the missiles fired during the US-led air strikes were shot down
Ray Hunter | 14 April, 2018, 22:18

But the USA ambassador to the UN said President Donald Trump told her if the Syrian regime uses poisonous gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded" to strike again.

Anti-aircraft fire is seen over Damascus, Syria early April 14, 2018.

The UN Security Council has rejected a resolution tabled by Russian Federation calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the United States and its allies against Syria.

The Russian military on Friday said it had proof that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Eastern Ghouta was staged on orders from London.

According to Interfax news agency, Russia's defense ministry also said that Syria intercepted the US and allied attacks using Soviet-produced hardware, including the Buk missile system.

During his meeting with Trump and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford, Mattis pushed for more evidence of the Assad regime's culpability for the attack, to bolster the case for air strikes, The New York Times reported.

"Our President has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria".

Russia's United Nations ambassador warned that US-led strikes could lead to a confrontation between the world's two preeminent nuclear powers. Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defense ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication", after inspection by Russian chemical experts, according to The Associated Press.

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"We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies", it said.

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia (L) and Bolivia's Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz speak to the media outside Security Council chambers at the U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., April 12, 2018.

Since 2015 France has carried out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria as part of allied forces linked to the USA -led coalition, conducting about 5 percent of total coalition air missions.

In Geneva, U.N. war crimes investigators condemned on Friday the suspected use of chemical weapons in Douma and called for evidence to be preserved with a view to future prosecutions.

The Syria crisis has come as a test not only for Trump, but incoming White House national security adviser John Bolton, a hawk who joined Trump's team this week.

Assad is supported by Iranian-back fighters as well as the Russian air force and has cemented his control over most of the western, more heavily populated, part of the country.

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. A USA guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

In April a year ago Trump ordered Tomahawk strikes on the Shayrat Airbase in response to a similar chemical weapons attack on rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun.

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