Russian Federation calls an emergency session to discuss strikes on Syria

Henrietta Brewer
April 16, 2018

A day before a team from the global chemical weapons watchdog was to arrive in Douma, just east of Damascus, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, Maj.

"We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians and all military bases were evacuated a few days ago", the official said.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Moscow's United Nations ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

Three civilians were wounded in Homs after "several" missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defense systems, Syrian state TV said.

Putin condemned Saturday's strikes as an "act of aggression" that will worsen the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and have a "destructive influence on the entire system of global relations".

Assad, who is supported by Iranian-back fighters as well as the Russian air force, has cemented his control over most of the western, more heavily populated, part of the country.

Danny Makki, a British-born Syrian journalist in Damascus, told CNN his whole neighborhood had been woken by the strikes near the capital. "It was something far bigger", he said.


"We are open for those contacts, they help to understand each other better", Lavrov said.

According to the World Health Organisation, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, "an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals".

"I hope hot heads will cool down and that will be it", he told reporters.

"Our president has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria".

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

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, an independent body established by the UN Human Rights Council, says it has confirmed at least 34 chemical attacks since 2013. The United States, France and Britain fired 105 missiles overnight in retaliation, targeting Syria's chemical weapons program.

While a full assessment has not yet been completed, "we believe that the action was successful", she said. "And it was not about regime change".


'We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in our world. Britain says Russian Federation is behind the Salisbury poisoning, a charge Moscow denies.

The Ministry claims the air strikes were a response to the "success" of Al Assad's Syrian army in liberating their territory from global terrorism.

Turkey, an important player in the Syrian conflict, said it viewed the airstrikes as "an appropriate response" to the Douma attack.

Merkel said all available evidence pointed to the Assad regime being responsible for the Douma attack and criticized Russian Federation for blocking an independent investigation through the UN Security Council.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, on Friday accused Russian Federation of lies and covering up for Assad, which she said had used chemical weapons at least 50 times in the past seven years of warfare.

Since 2015 France has carried out air strikes against Islamic State in Syria as part of allied forces linked to the US-led coalition, conducting about 5 percent of total coalition air missions.

During his meeting with Trump and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford, Mattis pushed for more evidence of the Assad regime's culpability for the attack, to bolster the case for air strikes, The New York Times reported.


"Without the sanction of the UN Security Council, in breach of the UN charter and the norms and principles of worldwide law, an act of aggression was committed against a sovereign state", the Kremlin said.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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