Russian ambassador to U.S. threatens with consequences for strikes on Syria

Russian ambassador to U.S. threatens with consequences for strikes on Syria

"We continue to observe unsafe military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state", he said.

The UN Security Council is to meet again on Friday, at Russia's request, to try to defuse the standoff, as United States President Donald Trump appeared to back away from imminent action, days after warning Russian Federation to "get ready" for missile strikes.

Late Friday night, the U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S., United Kingdom and France jointly launched strikes targeting the Assad regime's chemical weapons capabilities after a suspected chemical attack killed dozens outside of Damascus.

"No final decision has been made", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, adding that Trump would confer with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Russia's denial that the Assad government was responsible for the chemical weapons attack, further angered Trump, one of the US officials said.

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He said the analysis was done at the request of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

But both Dunford and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis stressed that strikes were not meant to pull America deeper into Syria's war.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also claimed that following Syrian rebels' withdrawal from the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, stockpiles of chemical agents were allegedly found there.

But he also appeared anxious to avoid a wider conflict, saying France would "in no way allow an escalation".

Britain rejected the Russian claims and said that any United Kingdom involvement in the chemical attack in Douma was a "blatant lie".

UK Cabinet to discuss military action in Syria
There was no immediate confirmation or indication from Assad's government that Syrian troops entered Douma on Thursday. May has indicated she wants Britain to join in any US -led strikes in response to the suspected attack near Damascus.

A draft resolution to condemn Friday's joint missile strikes on targets in Syria didn't come close to passing in the U.N. Security Council.

"On Friday at 9 p.m. EDT, military forces from the US, UK, and France launched a military campaign in Syria, targeting the country's research facilities that were believed to have been involved in the development of chemical weapons. We warned that such actions will not remain without consequences", the report said.

Any strike risks a confrontation with Russian Federation, which is a key ally of Assad.

Pence's aim, he told another White House official, was not to overshadow or undercut Bolton on his first day at work, but to "provide some continuity at a time when we have some changes and a lot on our plate". Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

Russian Federation has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" created to justify Western intervention.

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He noted that OPCW's report didn't contain any mention of BZ, adding that Russian Federation will ask the chemical weapons watchdog for an explanation.

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