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Russian Federation accuses United Kingdom of staging Syria gas attack

Russian Federation accuses United Kingdom of staging Syria gas attack

President Donald Trump is pressing for a more aggressive USA strike against Syria than military chiefs have recommended as he adopts a tougher stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose support for Syria's government has allowed it to crush opposition forces, US officials said.

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

"Again, we are being threatened".

As the prospect of USA -led military action that could lead to confrontation with Russian Federation hung over the Middle East, the White House accused Syria of staging a toxic gas assault on April 7 that killed dozens of people in Douma, near Damascus.

He further noted that all responsibility for strike rests with Washington, London and Paris while adding that the "US, the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapon has no moral right to blame other countries".

The U.S. president, who has tried to build good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, had sharply critical words for both Russia and Iran, which have backed Assad's government.

"Such attacks will not deter our armed forces and allied forces from persisting to crush what is left of the armed terrorist groups", the military said.

Washington estimates that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long conflict, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says.

The Russian military said its chemical experts visited Douma shortly after the alleged attack and found no trace of chemical agents in ground samples.




President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the Douma incident.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that 12 cruise missiles have been launched at the Dumayr air base east of Damascus. Later, a White House briefing on a call between Trump and May said that they "continued their discussion of the need for a joint response to Syria's use of chemical weapons".

Meanwhile, leaders from the U.S., France and Britain have said the Syrian government was responsible. There is a heightened "danger of escalation" because of the Russian military presence in Syria, Nebenzia said after a private meeting of the UN Security Council in NY.

A day before a team from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog was to arrive in Douma, just east of Damascus, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that images of victims of the purported attack were staged with "Britain's direct involvement, " without providing evidence.

At stake in Syria is the potential for confrontation, if not outright conflict, between the U.S. and Russian Federation, former Cold War foes whose relations have deteriorated in recent years over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine, its interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and, most recently, its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Iranian state TV is reporting the country's Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the US -led airstrikes on Syria.

"We hope that there will be no point of no return - that the USA and their allies will refrain from military action against a sovereign state", Nebenzia said.

US officials have refused to rule out direct military engagement with Russian Federation, with the White House saying "all options are on the table".

Russia imported $12.5 billion worth of US products in 2017, according to official Russian customs data.