Reported overnight missile strikes on Syrian airbases a false alarm

18 April 2018, 12:48 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Trump risks political blowback from his base on Syria

For residents of Syrian capital attack comes as a disorienting predawn barrage of light and sound

Until Saturday, the city was the last rebel-held town near the capital and the target of a government offensive in February and March that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands.

Relief organisations say dozens of men, women and children were killed.

"U.S. strikes against Assad meant the world to us, because it showed us that the United States actually cares and the bad days of Obama's inaction are over, hopefully forever", Eid said.

The US ambassador to the OPCW, Ken Ward, claimed however the Russians had already visited the site and "may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission". Mekdad declined to comment to reporters waiting outside the hotel where the meeting took place.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied Moscow had interfered with any evidence.

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

After midnight, Syrian state media outlets and the War Media, the media wing of the Syrian army and its allies, reported that Syrian air defenses responded to a missile strike believed to be carried out by Israel.

A Pentagon spokesman said there was no United States military activity in that area at this time.

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On Saturday, a volley of American, British, and French missiles slammed Syrian military positions in Homs province and around Damascus.

"The US mission has not changed - the president has been clear that he wants USA forces to come home as quickly as possible", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The Washington Post first reported that Trump had put a stop to a plan for additional economic sanctions on Russian Federation. But spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said he had not set a timeline for a pullout.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday warned that if the strikes continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in worldwide relations".

The accounts contradict what the Syrian government and Russian Federation have reported: that there was no gas attack in Douma. "Unfettered access is essential", it said in a statement.

The team aims to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to determine whether banned toxic munitions were used, although it is not permitted to assign blame for the attack. "We called for an objective investigation. The evidence and the main elements are very likely to disappear", the ministry said.

"At the moment, Russian Federation and Syria continue to deny access to [OPCW] investigators who arrived in Syria on April 14".



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