Syria 'chemical attack': Trump pledges 'forceful' US response

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US President Donald Trump has promised a “forceful” response to the alleged chemical assault in Syria, as Western leaders think about what motion to take.

“We have now loads of choices militarily,” he advised reporters. He added response could be determined “shortly”.

Mr Trump mentioned the US was getting some “good readability” on who was chargeable for the incident in Douma on Saturday.

Medical sources say dozens have been killed within the alleged assault however actual numbers are unimaginable to confirm.

Mr Trump additionally mentioned the incident with French President Emmanuel Macron late on Monday, and each leaders expressed a want for a “agency response”.

UK Prime Minister Theresa Could has mentioned she “totally condemns” the “barbaric” alleged chemical weapons assault and referred to as for backers of President Bashar al-Assad to be held to account.

The condemnation from Western leaders follows a tense meeting at the UN Security Council by which the US and Russia traded harsh phrases over the incident.

Russian consultant Vassily Nebenzia mentioned the alleged assault was staged and warned that US navy motion in response might have “grave repercussions”.

US envoy Nikki Haley mentioned Russia – a Syrian navy backer – had the “blood of Syrian kids” on its arms and branded President Assad a “monster”.

Ms Haley has referred to as for a vote on Tuesday on a draft decision to arrange a brand new inquiry into using chemical weapons in Syria.

However Russia says it can not assist the proposal as a result of it incorporates “unacceptable parts”.

What occurred on Saturday?

The Syrian-American Medical Society said more than 500 people were brought to medical centres in Douma, within the Jap Ghouta area, close to the capital Damascus, with signs “indicative of publicity to a chemical agent”.

It mentioned this included respiration difficulties, bluish pores and skin, mouth foaming, corneal burns and “the emission of chlorine-like odour”.

Neither the demise toll nor what precisely occurred could be verified as the world is blocked off with entry denied.

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The estimates of how many individuals died within the suspected chemical assault vary from 42 to greater than 60 individuals, however medical teams say numbers might rise as rescue staff achieve entry to basements the place tons of of households had sought refuge from bombing.

The French consultant on the UN Safety Council mentioned poison gasoline had intentionally been used because it might seep right down to the basements.

The US, France and UK have led worldwide condemnation of the alleged assault, with the Syrian authorities and its Russian backers denying any duty.

What did Russia say on the UN?

Mr Nebenzia, presenting Russia’s case that rebels in Douma staged the occasion for their very own ends, painted the incident and its fallout as a part of a US-led effort to harm Russia with a “broad arsenal of strategies”, together with slander, insults and “hawkish rhetoric”.

In an offended assertion, he invited investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to fly to Syria as quickly as Tuesday, saying that Russian troops would escort them to the positioning of the alleged assault.

Moscow has mentioned its specialists haven’t discovered “any hint of chlorine or every other chemical substance used in opposition to civilians”.

Mr Nebenzia mentioned the tone taken in opposition to Russia had gone past what was acceptable even in the course of the Chilly Battle and warned in opposition to a US navy response.

“Armed power underneath mendacious pretext in opposition to Syria, the place, on the request of the legit authorities of a rustic, Russian troops have been deployed, might result in grave repercussions,” he mentioned.

What’s the wider context?

Tensions between Russia and the West have plunged to their worst stage in many years, following the poisoning in March of an ex-spy in England that the UK blamed on Moscow, and alleged Russian interference within the 2016 US election.

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with what the British authorities says was a military-grade Novichok nerve agent of a kind developed by Russia led to the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats by Western allies, to which Moscow responded in variety.

Printed at Tue, 10 Apr 2018 01:42:00 +0000