Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Russian Federation warns it will respond if U.S. hits Damascus

Mattis warns Syria over use of chemical weapons on civilians Modal Trigger James Mattis Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 15 March, 2018, 21:52

After the alleged use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta in January, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Damascus could be using chemical weapons; he also said that Russian Federation is responsible for the victims because of its engagement in Syria. The United States circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member council that demands an immediate 30-day cessation of hostilities and asks UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to "urgently develop proposals for monitoring of implementation of the cessation of hostilities and any movement of civilians".

"At Harasta, under the control of Ahrar al-Sham, Syrian Army negotiation authorities are in talks with the community's elders to organize the evacuation of jihadist militants from the town".

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, warned on Monday that if the Security Council fails to act on Syria, Washington "remains prepared to act if we must", just as it did past year when it fired missiles at a Syrian government air base over a deadly chemical weapons attack.

"We have drafted a new ceasefire resolution that provides no room for evasion", United States ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in reference to Syrian army's operation against the terrorists in East Ghouta that keep launching attacks on Damascus despite the ongoing ceasefire.

The army's onslaught in Eastern Ghouta, backed by air and artillery strikes, has killed about 1,160 people since February 18, a war monitor said, as President Bashar Al-Assad seeks to crush the last big rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus. Syria's government deployed fighters to Afrin last month as part of an agreement with YPG to fend off the Turkish offensive.

The assault is one of the heaviest in the war, which enters its eighth year this week.

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The town was captured by Syrian troops on Sunday.

State television broadcasts from the government-controlled side of the battlefront showed dark grey clouds of smoke billowing from several places across a landscape of shattered buildings. The Observatory, said on Monday that the death toll had passed half a million people. About 85 percent were killed by government forces and their allies, it said.

The Syrian government says the military has seized control of a district south of the capital Damascus after it was evacuated by militants and civilians.

To prepare this mock action a large number of women, children and elderly are being taken to Eastern Ghouta in order to "theatrically dramatize a chemical attack by the government", which would be filmed and then issued by the so-called White Helmets, an MI6-created organization, accused here of mounting and propagating previous false news.

"The situation of my mother has become very bad and we couldn't treat her inside Ghouta with the lack of medication, not to mention the soaring prices and the lack of everything else", Noura said. Its statement said the deal with the Russians was reached through the United Nations.

The expulsion of the rebels from eastern Ghouta would represent their biggest defeat since they lost their enclave in Aleppo in December 2016. They still control large areas in the northwest and southwest and a few scattered pockets elsewhere but have been driven from most major population centers.

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