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United Nations rejects Russian call to condemn Syria strikes
15 April 2018, 09:53 | Devin Moran
Russia Warns US Airstrike to Syria can Spark War
"Before we took the action, the United States communicated with the Russian Federation to reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties", Huntsman said, claiming that "all the targets were linked with the Assad regime's illegal chemical weapons program".
Syrian officials and state media have boasted that the Western strikes failed, saying that Syrian air defenses intercepted most of the missiles. It was not immediately clear if Russian-supplied interceptors were activated. "Again, we are being threatened".
While Trump himself was silent on Syria on Friday, giving no further clues on whether U.S. military action was imminent, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington estimated Assad's forces had used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long Syrian conflict. "We warned that such actions will not remain without consequences", the report said.
According to Syrian medics and a statement by the World Health Organisation, more than 40 people died in an April 7 strike on the former rebel outpost of Douma of symptoms consistent with the use of chemical weapons.
"To Iran and to Russian Federation, I ask: what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"
Syria and its ally Russia have denied such an attack took place, and Moscow has accused Britain of helping to stage the Douma incident to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.
As chemical weapons experts arrived in Syria to investigate a suspected poison gas attack by government forces, worldwide diplomacy was in high gear to head off an escalation, though accusations flew thick and fast between Washington and its allies, and Russia, Assad's main backer.
France is urging Russia to join in renewed peace efforts after Western missile strikes on Syria aimed at punishing Bashar Assad for an alleged chemical attack, while the Syrian leader was said to have appeared unfazed Sunday in a meeting with Russian politicians.
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