Oil prices up after USA missile strike on Syria raises tensions

Carla Harmon
April 7, 2017

At Russia's urging, an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council began shortly after 11:30 a.m. ET Friday to discuss the attack, in which two USA guided-missile destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria's Shayrat air base, the facility that hosted warplanes that the US says carried out a chemical weapons strike in Idlib province earlier this week. The U.S. missiles hit at 8:45 p.m.in Washington, 3:45 Friday morning in Syria.

They were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea, in retaliation for Tuesday's deadly chemical attack that officials said used chlorine mixed with a nerve agent, possibly sarin.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin believes that the US strike on a Syrian air base is an "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of global law".

"Assad had an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of the civilian deaths, as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days", she said, while speaking on-stage during the eighth annual Women in the World Summit on Thursday.

Washington has accused the Syrian government of being behind the "barbaric" attack.

He opted instead for the Russian-backed plan that was supposed to remove and eliminate Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. Moscow had warned against apportioning blame until an investigation has been carried out. But his attack on the Syrian air base is in a sense a rebuke of Russian Federation, which was supposed to have worked out a deal with Assad in 2013 to destroy his chemical weapons arsenal.

Russian Federation has provided military support for the Syrian government since September 2015, turning the balance of power in Assad's favour.

Trump had said the attack crossed "many, many lines", and put the blame squarely on Assad's forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. AlYousef said the U.S.is capable of "paralyzing" Syrian warplanes.

"We call upon the UN Security Council to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the situation", the foreign ministry in Moscow said, calling the strike a "gross violation of worldwide law". Alyousef lost at least 25 relatives in this week's gruesome chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.

They say a drone belonging either to Russian Federation or Syria was seen hovering over the site of the chemical weapons attack Tuesday after it happened.

The paper, which has also been repeatedly criticised by Trump since he took office, published an opinion piece saying the president should be "commended" for the military action.

A similar call to bomb Syria in retaliation for the chemical attack was made a day earlier by former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, in NY. After the attack, dozens of victims were brought to a border crossing where the Turkish government had set up a decontamination center, the AP reported yesterday.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the USA was still assessing the result of the 59 Tomahawks it fired, expressing hope that Assad's government learned a lesson. Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US has "very high confidence" that the attacks included the sarin nerve agent.

Other reports by iNewsToday