United Nations rejects Russian attempt to condemn USA aggression in Syria

President Donald Trump and his national security aides on Thursday discussed United States options on Syria, where he has threatened missile strikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack, as a Russian envoy voiced fears of wider conflict between Washington and Moscow.

"A perfectly executed strike", President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday in the aftermath of his second decision in two years to fire missiles against Syria.

At the House hearing, Democrats grilled Mattis on the wisdom and legality of Trump ordering an attack on Syria without explicit authorization from Congress. Mattis argued it would be justified as an act of self-defense, with 2,000 USA ground troops in Syria; he insisted he could not talk about military plans because an attack "is not yet in the offing".

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a brief statement after Trump met with Mattis and other members of his National Security Council: "No final decision has been made".

"We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies", it said.

Syria's military has repositioned some air assets to avoid fallout from possible missile strikes, U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

"So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime", May said. The Syrian government said it would facilitate the mission's investigation.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said France has proof that the Syrian government launched chlorine gas attacks and that France would not tolerate "regimes that think everything is permitted". "This will reduce the regime's ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons", he said. This is in contrast to an incident one year ago in which the US government had video and other evidence of certain aspects of an actual attack by Syrian aircraft, which involved the use of sarin gas.

"It will be in defense of a bedrock global norm that benefits all nations", Haley said.

Russian Federation backs Assad government in a brutal civil war, and has given it the upper military hand against rebels and opponents, some of which are supported by the United States. Russian Federation said it deployed military police in Douma on Thursday after the town was taken over by government forces.

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There were signs of a global effort to head off a direct confrontation between Russian Federation and the West.

The deputy added that Russia's retaliatory measures also provide for the suspension of cooperation with the United States in the nuclear, aircraft-making and rocket-propulsion sectors.

A Russian bid for the United Nations Security Council to condemn U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack failed on Saturday after only China and Bolivia joined Russia to vote in favor of a draft resolution.

The U.N. chief told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Friday called by Russian Federation that the highly volatile situation risks "escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications".

Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the USA, said, "We are being threatened".

"If there are problems, they must be solved at the negotiating table", she said.

"Those three countries - the US, Britain and France - if they think they can attack us and attack our sovereignty, at the time, we would have no other choice except applying Article 51 of the charter that gives us the right to defend ourselves, the legitimate right to defend ourselves", Jaafari said. He also suggested he was examining ways to prevent any strikes from triggering a broader conflict. "This would be pre-decisional", Mattis told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

The strikes "successfully hit every target", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said at a briefing Saturday, disputing the Russian military's contention that Syrian air defense units downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles fired by the allies. Nervous world stock markets showed signs of recovery after Trump's signal that military strikes might not be imminent. The United States, France and Britain fired 105 missiles overnight in retaliation, targeting Syria's chemical weapons program. May had recalled the ministers from their Easter holiday for the meeting to discuss Britain's response to what she has cast as a barbaric attack that can not go unchallenged.

A day before a team from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog was to arrive in Douma, just east of Damascus, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. That did not mean military strikes would continue; in fact, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no additional attacks were now planned.

  • Adam Floyd