Britain Braces for Possible Russian Retaliation Over Syria Strikes

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Vladimir Putin Says Missile Strikes On Syria Will Make The Humanitarian Catastrophe Worse

Moscow blamed the delay on the air strikes, in which the US, France and Britain targeted what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities.

The lack of access to the town of Douma by inspectors from the watchdog group, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has left questions about the April 7 attack unanswered. "China advocates a comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation into the suspected use of chemical weapons so as to reach a reliable conclusion that could withstand the test of time and facts", Hua said.

A visit by chemical weapons inspectors to the site of a suspected gas attack in Syria was delayed on Monday, British and Russian officials said, as Western powers and Russia traded accusations in the aftermath of retaliatory USA -led missile strikes.

"On our part, we consider the latest military adventure undertaken by the United States and its allies as a treacherous act of aggression against a sovereign state, against Syria, a member of the United Nations and the OPCW".

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said earlier that his country is "fully ready" to cooperate with the fact-finding mission. He told reporters in Moscow that the inspectors could not go to the site because they need permission from the U.N. Department for Safety and Security.

Weeks after President Trump said he wanted the United States out of Syria, the U.S.is back in the thick of the conflict. One reason we don't know (and may never know) the truth is that an worldwide inspection team's arrival in Douma was pre-empted by the USA attack. The team arrived in Syria shortly before the airstrikes and met with Syrian officials.

The media activist claimed that the warplanes had taken off from the Al Shayrat or the Tiyas airbase in Homs controlled by the Syrian government. "But it was the world saying that we've had enough of the use of chemical weapons", Johnson said.

"I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tampered with the site", Lavrov told the BBC on Monday.

Syria has in the past accused the West of politically manipulating the OPCW mission.

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad praised Russian weaponry on Sunday as his government celebrated victory over rebels in the town where an alleged chemical attack took place, triggering USA airstrikes over the weekend. The OPCW team does not have a mandate to assign blame for the attack.

When the Trump administration announced sanctions in March related to Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election, it also disclosed what it described as a Russian attempt to penetrate the U.S. energy grid. The joint body was created in 2015 and found the Syrian government responsible for using sarin gas a year ago in Khan Shaykhoun, a rebel-held area in northern Syria.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned Syrian President Assad that the U.S. would launch new missile strikes against his government if he carries out another chemical weapons attack.

"Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma", the British delegation said in a tweet on Sunday before adding that "unfettered access [is] essential".

In Damascus, hundreds of Syrians gathered Monday in Omayyad Square in Damascus, rallying in support of their armed forces, which they said had succeeded in confronting the airstrikes by the West. They also set off fireworks and unleashed celebratory gunfire.

And by Saturday morning an unverified video was released showing Bashar Assad, in suit and tie and briefcase in hand, going to work as usual.

China has strongly condemned the latest missile strikes by the United States along with its allies Britain and France on crisis-hit on Syria, stating the military aggression violates the basic principles and norms of global law.

Washington, meanwhile, prepared to increase pressure on Russian Federation with new economic sanctions.

"We took the heart of it out", Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said after the strikes.

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