Putin warns against provocation, speculation on alleged chemical attack in Syria


The Pentagon is offering President Donald Trump a series of military options to respond to the Assad regime's latest use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, officials said Monday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

"We'll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours", Trump said Monday during a Cabinet meeting a day after saying there would be "a big price to pay" by Syria and Assad.

Vassily Nebenzia said United States attacks on Syria "could lead to grave repercussions" during heated exchanges at the UN Security Council.

On Monday President Donald Trump promised a "very tough" response to a recent chemical weapons attack in Syria. "We have reached the moment where the world must see justice done".

Britain, France, the United States and six other countries requested the urgent meeting after toxic gas was allegedly used in the rebel-held town of Douma, killing at least 40 people.

"History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria", she said.

Saturday's attack unfolded amid a resumed offensive by the Syrian government.

Emphatic in his condemnation of the apparent gas attack, Trump noted graphic pictures of the dead and sickened, calling the assault "heinous", "atrocious", "horrible" and "barbaric".

"It's necessary to examine very carefully what happened in Douma".

Access to the area, which has faced weeks of regime bombardment, is limited and AFP has not independently verified the accounts. The guided missile destroyer is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, the weapon of choice in a USA attack one year ago on an airfield in Syria following an alleged sarin gas attack on civilians. And Israel has said - and we are clear on this - that Israel will not accept an Iranian military presence in Syria, and will not accept (Iran's) creeping presence in Syria. Trump referred in a Tweet to "Animal Assad" and criticised Russia and Iran for backing the Syrian leader, directly naming Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US and Russian Federation have been lashing out at each other for months over the issue of accountability for chemical attacks in Syria, a close ally of Moscow.

Nebenzia, reflecting earlier warnings from President Vladimir Putin s Kremlin, said: "From what we hear now, I am afraid they are looking for a military option, which is very, very risky".

Russian and USA officials said Israel was responsible for a strike on an air base in Syria in the early hours of Monday morning, just as the world was expecting a possible United States response. Everybody is going to pay a price, he will everybody will. The decision marks the first time an American president has not attended the Summit of the Americas.

Washington s main European allies stood by reports blaming Assad.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spoke with the acting USA secretary of state and, according to London, they agreed that "this attack bore hallmarks of previous chemical weapons attacks by the Assad regime".

The French envoy took the debate to another level later during the session.

Meanwhile, at 14 people reportedly died in a missile strike on a Syrian air base overnight, including three Iranians. Moscow has dismissed the allegations of a chemical attack as "fake news".

He also told the Security Council that Russian Federation had warned of "grave repercussions", if Syria was attacked.

Regime forces walk along a destroyed street in the former rebel-held town of Jobar in Eastern Ghouta on April 2, 2018.

A group of detainees arrived in Damascus overnight Monday to Tuesday after being freed by Jaish al-Islam, state news agency SANA said.

In a parallel operation, 65 buses carrying fighters and civilians left the outskirts of Ghouta and headed to north Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.