Pro-Assad official says targeted bases were evacuated on Russian warning

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban

Russian Federation has questioned the rationale for USA air strikes on Syria, which have lit up the Damascus sky.

A top leader of Jaish al-Islam, a group which controlled Douma for years, told AFP it was Saturday's attack that forced them to accept a Russian-brokered deal and evacuate.

Eight countries voted against the Russian-drafted text on Saturday, while Peru, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea abstained.

Russian officials had said before the suspected gas attack in Douma that rebels in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus were plotting chemical attacks to blame the Syrian government and set the stage for a USA strike. As a result, Washington, and its allies - France and the United Kingdom - fired missiles on the Syrian facilities, which they claimed were linked with chemical weapons production.

Lavrov, Russia's forgien minister, said Moscow reviewed the alleged chemical attack and has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication".

"We did not do any coordination with Russian Federation on these strikes, and neither did we pre-notify them", Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday night.

"When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line, " Haley said.

France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the result of the vote sends "a clear message" that Security Council members recognized the need for the airstrikes, and "their proportional and targeted nature".

"Russia convenes an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss aggressive actions of the US and its allies", President Vladimir Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin website.




"We put facts contrary to your myths, " he said.

'We would have preferred an alternative path.

Merkel said all available evidence pointed to the Assad regime being responsible for the Douma attack and criticized Russian Federation for blocking an independent investigation through the UN Security Council.

The vote was held after the United States warned that it was "locked and loaded", ready to launch more military strikes on Syria if President Bashar al-Assad's forces carry out a new chemical weapons attack.

Britain believes "that is wholly within the principles and practices of the United Nations, " she said. #The United States - along with the UK and France - have already formed an alliance and are considering military action in Syria.

He said the analysis was done at the request of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Nebenzia responded saying the environment is "not very conducive for any rapprochement" and "the political and unsafe military situation we are in now" must be sorted out first.

"Again, we are being threatened", Antonov continued.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who delayed a trip to Saudi Arabia to deal with the Syria crisis, said he had asked special envoy Staffan de Mistura to return to NY as soon as possible to chart a way forward.

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