Russia says alleged chemical attack in Syria staged by UK

Trump says Airstrikes on Syria Underway

The United States' decision to conduct a military strike against the Russia-backed Syrian government Friday marks the latest in a series of actions that indicate President Donald Trump is beginning to move more aggressively against Russian Federation, as his top advisers have urged.

Antonov released a statement on Twitter saying, "A pre-designed scenario is being implemented".

"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.

As tensions escalate over a possible US-led military response, Russian military are to deploy troops to Douma, according to the Associated Press.

No serious observer thinks Washington or Moscow want to fight each other over Bashar al-Assad s latest alleged use of banned chemical weapons on his country s civil war battlefield.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly said the Russians were warned "ahead of time" - despite claims from the Pentagon that Moscow was not notified.

President Trump on Friday announced that a series of strikes were launched by the United States, France and Britain on Assad's chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

The British government "agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", the statement said, without committing to any form of military involvement.

The Kremlin said on Friday in its readout of the phone call between the two presidents that Putin and Macron agreed to ask their foreign policy chiefs to "keep in close contact" to "de-escalate" the situation in Syria.

Across Western capitals opposition to military action also grew. #The United States - along with the UK and France - have already formed an alliance and are considering military action in Syria.

President Vladimir Putin later referred to this claim, saying on April 4 that Russian Federation had "irrefutable proof" that rebels were planning an attack with "poisonous substances". She also noted that Russian Federation had agreed to guarantee the removal of Syria's chemical weapons, and had they followed through with that promise, "we would not be here today".

Russia's lower house of parliament is to consider draft legislation that would give the Kremlin powers to ban or restrict a list of USA imports, reacting to new US sanctions on a group of Russian tycoons and officials.

The intervention was the biggest strike by Western powers against Assad in the country's seven-year-old civil war and pitted the United States and its allies against Russian Federation, which itself intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad. It also said Russian officers found no patients with chemical attack symptoms at a local hospital, and no indication of any burials having taken place of the victims. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

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.

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