Trump: Strikes against Syria are underway; Britain, France joining in attacks

The Latest US global allies discussing options for Syria

The Latest US global allies discussing options for Syria

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

Mr Assad's Barzah research and development centre in Damascus was destroyed, Mr McKenzie said.

Parliament refused U.K. participation in a planned punitive raid on Syria in 2013, one of the reasons then-U.S. President Barack Obama called off the raid and left the French high and dry. While the U.S., France and Britain have the latest-technology cruise missiles, the presence of Russia's S-400 air defense system in Syria argues for caution. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication". The U.S. took care to avoid Russian targets during an air strike in April 2017.

Syria, Russia and Iran say reports of the attack were fabricated by rebels and rescue workers in Douma and have accused the United States of seeking to use it as a pretext to attack the government.

The Syrian government and Russia say the reports of a poison gas assault on the Syrian town of Douma are bogus.

"Good souls will not be humiliated", Mr Assad tweeted, while hundreds of Syrians gathered in the capital of Damascus where they flashed victory signs and waved flags in scenes of defiance after the early morning barrage.

Trump on Tuesday canceled a planned trip to Latin America later this week to focus instead on talks with Western allies about possible military action to punish Assad over the suspected gas attack.

The atrocity killed up to 75 people, including children, and injured more than 500.

As of Saturday, neither Syria nor its Russian or Iranian allies retaliated, Pentagon officials said. Medical sources and activists in Syria said blood, urine and hair follicle samples were smuggled in batches to Turkey after rebel groups and their families were pushed out of the area by the Assad regime, CNN reported earlier on Friday. "This is not about intervening in a civil war". Britain is already at the centre of growing diplomatic tension with Moscow over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia last month.

Although officials said the singular target was Assad's chemical weapons capability, his air force, including helicopters he allegedly has used to drop chemical weapons on civilians, were spared.

"I will tell you that, first of all, did a chemical weapons attack happen?"

Zasypkin also said a clash between Russia and the United States over Syria "should be ruled out and therefore we are ready to hold negotiations".

Russia claims the chemical attack was staged. Russia and Syria blamed Israel for the strikes. The NATO alliance gave its full backing.

Zasypkin also said that any hostilities with Washington should be avoided, and Moscow was ready for negotiations.

A former officer in Syria's chemical program, Adulsalam Abdulrazek, said Saturday the joint U.S., British, and French strikes hit "parts of but not the heart" of the program. "This posturing may trigger a dangerous process", Pushkov said on Thursday at a meeting with representatives for the Association of Foreign Correspondents at the Federation Council. "They were very bellicose". More than 40 people were believed killed.

But the organization counts just civilian deaths and "takes a considerable amount of details before entering a name onto our database", Mona Zeineddine, a member of the group, said by email.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons. "We're still working on this".

"We have to engage our brains as well as our emotions here, not be stampeded by those videos which are described as being unverified, but which by dint of being repeated over and over again come to acquire a spurious credibility".

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