US Contacted Russia Before Striking Syria to Avoid Casualities - Envoy to Moscow

16 April, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Russia Threatens To Freeze Cooperation With US

Russian Federation asked for one more emergency conference from the UN Security Council Friday, to try and resolve or possibly reduce the growing tensions between the country, trying to divert the possibility of war.

As President Donald Trump ponders retaliatory military action in Syria, his envoy to the United Nations on Friday laid out a forceful argument Friday for reining in the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Trump on Wednesday had warned Russian Federation to "get ready" for a missile attack on its ally Syria. Trump wrote on Twitter, raising the prospect that an attack might not be as imminent as he seemed to suggest the day before.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a brief statement after Trump met with Mattis and other members of his National Security Council: "No final decision has been made".

"We warned about this long ago", he said.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats grilled Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on the legality and constitutionality of Trump ordering an attack on Syria without explicit authorization from Congress. Mattis insisted it would be justified as an act of self-defense; he insisted he could not talk about military plans because an attack "is not yet in the offing".

Another US official familiar with how the US intelligence is unfolding regarding the attack tells CNN that the initial intelligence assessment that a chemical agent was used was based on viewing the videos and comparing the shown physical effects with what is known about chlorine and nerve agents.

The U.S., United Kingdom and France carried out the strikes in the early morning hours on targets that U.S. officials said were linked to a Syrian government chemical weapons program.

The Kremlin itself has not said if it backs the draft legislation, which would allow the government to impose the measures should the need arise, and it was not clear if it would become law in its current form.

France said Thursday it has proof that Syrian government forces, which Russian Federation has pledged to protect, conducted the attack.


Both Syria and Russian Federation have said reports of the attack were fabricated by rebels and rescue workers in Douma and have accused the United States of seeking to use it as a pretext to attack the government.

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma has been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

There were signs, though, of a global effort to head off a risky conflict pitting Russian Federation against the West.

She noted that In 2017, Moscow "killed" a Joint Investigative Mechanism, which the United Nations established in 2015 to investigate and assign accountability for chemical weapons use in Syria.

Asked if he was referring to a war between the United States and Russian Federation, he told reporters: "We can not exclude any possibilities unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming from Washington".

The U.S., France and Britain have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said. He said the airstrikes were launched against several sites that helped provide Assad's ability to create chemical weapons.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the Kremlin's skepticism about the allies' Douma claim, saying Russian military experts had found no trace of the attack.

Iran, the Assad regime's other key ally, called the USA -led strikes an "aggression" that was "a flagrant violation of global laws and a disregard for Syria's right of national sovereignty and territorial integrity", according to Iran's semi-official FARS News Agency.

He said he would also strive to prevent an escalation of conflict across the Middle East.

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