Monday, 19 November, 2018

Russia appears to move warships away from Syrian danger zone

The Syrian conflict Is WW3 imminent Russia appears to move warships away from Syrian danger zone
Patty Aguilar | 13 April, 2018, 11:58

Defying Russian warnings against US military strikes in Syria, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to Syria's suspected chemical attack that killed at least 40 people.

British ministers plan to gather Thursday to discuss whether to join the United States and France in a possible military attack on Syria that threatens to bring Western and Russian forces into direct confrontation.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the Pentagon is ready to provide options for a strike but notes the US and its allies are still assessing intelligence on the alleged strike.

On Thursday, Mrs May gained cabinet approval for an "international response" in Syria and Mr Macron said his government has proof that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma.

At a congressional hearing in Washington, defence secretary General James Mattis also signalled caution, saying the the president had not yet decided whether military force would be part of the USA response in Syria.

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking its Syrian ally President Bashar al-Assad, who is also supported by Iran, and says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma near Damascus.

A similar chemical attack previous year that killed more than 80 people in northern Syria prompted a limited US retaliation that targeted an air base from which aircraft involved in the strike likely deployed from.

He said the USA is considering a response, including military attacks.

Trump ordered a missile strike against Syria in April 2017 after a separate chemical attack killed more than 80 people. USA officials have been consulting with France, Britain and other allies on a possible joint military operation, but the timing remained in doubt Wednesday.

Trump said in a Cabinet meeting Monday that "major decisions" were coming on Syria within 24 to 48 hours.

Social media pages were flush with defiant comments, mostly from government supporters, some lamenting Syria's perpetual conflict while others taunted Trump to go through with his threats.

Brexit Secretary David Davis, who voted against military action in 2013, said "we've got to make this judgment on a very careful, very deliberate, very well thought-through basis, knowing exactly ... how strong the evidence is".

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, also said pro-Syrian government forces were emptying main airports and military airbases.

The US President added: "We're having a number of meetings today, we'll see what happens".

A joint military operation, possibly with France rather than the United States in the lead, could send a message of worldwide unity about enforcing the prohibitions on chemical weapons and counter Syria's political and military support from Russian Federation and Iran.

"We're knocking the hell out of ISIS and we will be coming out of Syria like very soon".

Earlier on Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned the West against attacking Syria, saying accusations about the suspected chemical attack on Douma were "fabricated". "If there are attempts to test it out, they will get a worthy response", he said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in her response to Trump's tweet said: "Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not [Syria's] lawful government, which has spent several years fighting against global terrorism on its territory".

He has pressed his aides and United States allies to develop a more muscular response to the weekend chemical attack after strikes a year ago did little to prevent the Syrian regime from continuing their assault on civilians. Trump on Wednesday had warned Russian Federation to "get ready" for a missile attack on its ally Syria.

"There must be a consistent Syria policy, that is the key thing", Norbert Roettgen, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and chairman of the foreign policy committee in the country's parliament, said on Deutschlandfunk radio on Thursday.

The BBC reported that May was ready to give the go-ahead for Britain to take part in military action.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that Paris has proof the Syrian government carried out the attack, without offering details of any evidence.

Iran, Syria and Russian Federation blame Israel for the strike that kills up to 14 people, according to the Observatory.

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