US, Russia in crisis talks as Syria missile strikes loom

US, Russia in crisis talks as Syria missile strikes loom

President Donald Trump is warning Russian Federation and Iran about their association with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad's government, as he announces the launch of retaliatory strikes after an apparent chemical weapons attack last week.

In a live address to the nation, President Trump said the strikes were aimed at deterring chemical weapons use.

Volunteer first responders and activists said a chemical attack by the Syrian government killed more than 40 people in the town of Douma, which drew global outrage and prompted Washington and its allies to consider a military response.

Mr Trump said the strikes were in response to the "evil and the despicable" chemical attack on April 7 which "left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air".

The President said the USA strikes on Syria, were launched in concert with British, French allies.

Trump said that he chose to take action because last weekend's action by Bashar Al-Assad "was a significant attack against his own people", and "not the actions of a man, they are crimes of a monster instead".

Reuters reported that six huge explosions were observed in Damascus. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Britain pressured the White Helmets, volunteers and activists who serve as first responders in rebel-held areas to stage the attack.

"We have proof that last week chemical weapons were used, at least chlorine, and that they were used" by Assad's forces", he also said. Syrian television reported that a scientific research centre had been hit.

"Yes, it has happened", she said.

In an early morning tweet and later in comments at the White House, Trump attempted to cloud the timing of military action - a day after indicating it was imminent - and said a final decision had not yet been made.

Russian Federation has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria on Friday.

"The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep", Trump said when announcing the strikes.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said their forces had joined in the attack. "And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack".

The Russian military has claimed an alleged chemical attack in Syria was staged and directed by Britain.

But that the USA did not want an "indefinite presence" in Syria and would only stay until Islamic State was destroyed.

Anti-aircraft fire is seen over Damascus, Syria early April 14, 2018.

Syrian state media said the attack would fail and called it a "flagrant violation of global law".

Despite several tweets threatening military action against Syria by Donald Trump the U.S has yet to launch military strikes on the Assad regime.

Meanwhile, Russia's Embassy to the United Kingdom tweeted a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, that denied there was any evidence of a chemical attack.

Syria's military has repositioned some air assets to avoid missile strikes, U.S. officials told Reuters.