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Russia says Syria chemical attack 'staged'

17 April 2018

"Russia and Syria must cooperate".

After all, Moscow still wields considerable control over the direction of the war.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the Security Council meeting without referring to either Russian Federation or the United States, but stressed his deep concern that the growing tensions could spiral into broad conflict.

"With yesterday's military action, our message was crystal clear".

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President Donald Trump has already threatened via Twitter that the United States will launch a missile into the heart of Damascus. Turkish forces and rebel allies control territory in northern Syria, while USA -backed Kurdish forces hold wide areas of the northeast, and pockets of Islamic State fighters remain.

Syria and Russian Federation have denied that the attacks happened and said they were staged by the White Helmets so that the Syrian government could be blamed. This was playing with fire after Russia - Syria's strongest ally - had warned that a missile attack would be met with force by Moscow, raising fears of a straight fight between the U.S. and Russia. "This must be stopped". British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said the United Kingdom and France had joined in the attack. Moscow has denied any wrongdoing.

Syria and its ally Russian Federation deny using poison gas during their offensive this month, in which they seized the town that had been the last major rebel stronghold near the capital. "The use of a nerve agent in the recent weeks is part of a pattern of disregard for these norms". Russian Federation warned that any Western airstrikes against Syria would ignite a war.

Some national leaders appeared anxious to avert a U.S. "All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris".

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The United States and European allies had discussed a sanctions package in the build up to last week's strikes against targets in Syria, with the American measures said to be further along in the planning process than Europe - where consensus among member states is needed.

Over the past week, pro-Kremlin officials, independent analysts and the state-allied news media described the situation in Syria as a uniquely unsafe moment.

Haley said the United Nations would continue to work on a diplomatic solution but added that Assad was "not worthy" of direct talks with the U.S. She said the time had come for Russian Federation and Iran to bring peace to the beleaguered nation. The result, according to the worst-case predictions, could be a new world war. He said Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was a fabrication".

Western powers weighed their options on Friday over possible strikes against Syria's regime as pressure built to avoid an escalation and Russian Federation stepped up its warnings against military action which it said could lead to "war". He was speaking a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said France had proof there was a chemical attack - also without revealing what that evidence was.

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Ahmad, a 25-year-old mechanic who had been displaced from Douma, said the Western strikes were nevertheless too little, too late. The bombings marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation .

Syria's air defence system, which mostly consists of systems made in the Soviet Union, has intercepted 71 of the missiles fired on Saturday by the U.S., British and French forces, he added.

Russia says Syria chemical attack 'staged'