US To Hit Russia With Sanctions Over Support For Assad

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In his televised address from the White House on Friday evening, Trump said the US was prepared to sustain economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until the Syrian leader ends what Trump called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

Dana W. White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said that to her knowledge no one in the Defense Department communicated with Moscow in advance, other than the acknowledged use of a military-to-military hotline that has routinely helped minimize the risk of U.S. "The fact he was making this more normal and that Russian Federation was covering this up, all that has got to stop".

'We're not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things, ' she said.

Haley made clear the United States won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying US involvement there "is not done".

Assad denies he has used chemical weapons, and the Trump administration has yet to present hard evidence of what it says precipitated the allied missiles attack: a chlorine gas attack on civilians in Douma on April 7.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.

However, the White House said Mr Trump still wants United States forces to withdraw from the region as soon as possible.

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He has since entered the operating theatre for surgery on his wounds, and has been transferred to the State Trauma Unit. Friends say Travaglini fought off the shark before it returned and dragged him underwater, the West Australian reports.

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Instead the king focused on rivalries with longtime foe Iran - only 160 kilometers (100 miles) across the Gulf from Dhahran. Among the leaders in attendance was Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, who walked the red carpet and was greeted by King Salman.

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Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry in a statement said Russian military bases in Syria had not been affected by the joint strike. He accused the United States, France and Britain of "demonstrating a blatant disregard for worldwide law".

The leaders of Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah group in Lebanon said Sunday that Western airstrikes on their ally, Syria, have complicated prospects for a political settlement to the country's seven-year conflict. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning.

"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site", US Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at a meeting of the OPCW in The Hague on Monday.

"We are likely to get a sell-off this week as the extent of the Syrian strikes have been muted and, in general, calmer nerves prevail in Washington", she said.

Maas listed a series of what he called problematic actions by Moscow, including the lack of progress in implementing a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, a poison gas attack in Britain, Moscow's support of the Syrian government, Russia's efforts to influence Western elections, and the cyber attack. He said BZ was part of chemical arsenals of the U.S., Britain and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, while the Soviet Union and Russian Federation never developed the agent.

Russian and Iranian military help over the past three years has allowed Assad to crush the rebel threat to topple him. The U.S. says it suspects that sarin gas also was used. "We know that it is now up to Bashar al-Assad on whether he's going to use chemical weapons again".

In a televised interview Sunday night, French President Emmanuel Macron said the U.S., France and Britain had "full global legitimacy to intervene" because they had gotten evidence the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people and the airstrikes were enforcing worldwide humanitarian law. Macron said in an interview broadcast by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news that he had convinced Trump to focus on the chemical weapons sites. This was playing with fire after Russia - Syria's strongest ally - had warned that a missile attack would be met with force by Moscow, raising fears of a straight fight between the United States and Russia.

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