Russian Federation says Syria downs most of the missiles

May ready to bypass Parliament & approve UK military intervention in Syria – BBC

The Syrian government condemned the targeted overnight airstrikes by the United States, France and Britain. "Without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, in defiance of the UN Charter, norms and principles and global law, an act of aggression has been committed against a sovereign state, which is at the forefront of the war on terror", the Kremlin press service quotes Putin as saying.

Speaking at the United Nations on Thursday, Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said the top priority had to be to avert a wider war, and he didn't rule out the possibility of a U.S. -Russia conflict. And his counterpart, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, insisted that USA officials were in touch with their Russian counterparts over the so-called "deconfliction channel" between the U.S. al-Udeid airbase in Qatar and Russia's Hmeymim military base in Syria.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the coordinated airstrikes in response to last weekend's chemical attack that reportedly killed about 70 people in the town of Douma in eastern Ghouta.

Syrian state media reported that internal security forces had entered Douma on Saturday and that the town would be secured within hours.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the joint staff, said in a briefing at the Pentagon Saturday morning that the joint forces targeted three locations with 105 weapons.

Syrian state TV showed supporters of President Bashar al Assad honking their vehicle horns, waving Syrian flags and parading through iconic squares and arteries of the capital Damascus Saturday morning.

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"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?" But the Pentagon said on Saturday that worry had been eased by the fact that there were no Russian casualties as a result of Friday's military campaign.

"President Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons", he added.

"Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilised nations as a force for stability and peace". Syrian TV showed video of the rubble of one target which appeared to have been destroyed by a missile strike.

"Again, we are being threatened". 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. "Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", he added, an apparent reference to Trump's mention of President Vladimir Putin in his speech. "The U.S. ― the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons ― has no moral right to blame other countries".

One major concern the United States had was that the Syria strikes would prompt a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow, whose relations have been spiraling downward. "The capital of a sovereign government, trying for years to survive under terrorist aggression, has been attacked", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

But the Pentagon said that worry had eased after the U.S. learned that the Syria strikes had not resulted in any Russian casualties.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the USA and its allies had committed a "major crime" in Syria.

Syria's President Bashar Assad announced that his country would respond to the allied attack but offered no details.

The attack "was a victory for Syria", former lawmaker Sharif Shehadeh said by phone from Damascus.

U.S. president Donald Trump announced the "combined operation" on Friday night, as Prime Minister Theresa May said there was "no practicable alternative to the use of force".

"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria under no circumstances", he said. We can not purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny.

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