Most rockets in Western attacks on Syria were intercepted - Russia

By Anthony Deutsch

By Anthony Deutsch

The exchange follows the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, and comes amid Moscow's stern warnings to the West against striking Syria.

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus, Syria in this still image obtained from video dated early April 14, 2018. He said the USA administration under Trump's command is conflicted and taking "bizarre" decisions without a strategic vision.

Russian Federation has requested a United Nations meeting in NY later in the day, but this has not yet been confirmed.

British Prime Minister Theresa May describes the attack as neither "about intervening in a civil war" nor "about regime change" but a limited and targeted strike that "does not further escalate tensions in the region" and does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.

In response to the alleged poison gas attack in the town of Douma that killed dozens of civilians last week, the strike was aimed at cutting off chemical weapons production in Syria.

U.S. allies have offered strong words of support for Washington, but no clear military plans have yet emerged.

France and the United States have said they have proof the chemical attack, indeed, took place.

"We have to re-establish the taboo against using chemical weapons".

Konashenkov said Friday that Britain was "directly involved in the provocation", but didn't elaborate or provide evidence.

Russian officials from President Vladimir Putin on down condemned the strike as an act of aggression against a sovereign state carried out on the pretext of staged chemical attack. Russia, negotiating primarily with Iran and Turkey, remains keen to forge a political settlement in Syria that would cement a long-term foothold for Moscow in the Middle East.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview to the BBC said: "I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site". He didn't elaborate or name the state.

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The U.S. president, who has tried to build good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, had sharply critical words for both Russia and Iran, which have backed Assad's government. We are stopping the cooperation with the United States of America in three very important spheres: "the nuclear industry, the aircraft building industry and the rocket engine industry", the head of the Fair Russia party, Sergey Mironov, said.

SIMON: What else has Mr. Putin said about these strikes?

"Even non-significant incidents would lead to new waves of migrants to Europe and to other consequences, which neither we nor our European neighbours need", Lavrov said. Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defense ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.

MAYNES: You know, well, he's called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council today to discuss the attack.

In remarks made on her official social media account, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zaharova said: "Those behind it lay claim to moral leadership in this world and declare their exclusiveness and uniqueness".

"We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies", it added.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry in a statement said Russian military bases in Syria had not been affected by the joint strike.

US -led strikes impacting the front lines, and certainly any loss of Russian lives, could strip the Kremlin of the opportunity of restricting its response to one of just issuing angry protests, as it did previous year when the USA launched 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles on a Syrian airbase after a purported Assad chemical weapons attack on Khan Shaykhun in northern Syria.

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman on Friday released statements purportedly by Douma hospital medics that he suggested proved the chemical attack claims were bogus.

Russian Federation is one of Assad's last allies and has used its place as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to vote in ways that favor Assad.

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