West hesitates on Syria response as Russian Federation warns of 'war'

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A day before a team from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog was to arrive in Douma, just east of Damascus, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.

Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow received the confidential information from the laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland, that analyzed samples from the site of the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.

White Helmets first-responders and Syrian activists have claimed the suspected chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian government on April 7 and killed more than 40 people in Douma, allegations that drew global outrage and prompted Washington and its allies to consider a military response.

The Russian ambassador said his country is being "threatened" and warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences".

Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators", adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 worldwide agreement for al-Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons.

According to a statement by the French presidency, Macron called for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria.

The US State Department said the United States has proof at "a very high level of confidence" that the Syrian government carried out the attack but is still working to identify the mix of chemicals used.

The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and risky actions ... that would have consequences beyond conjecture".

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Mr Putin and Mr Macron instructed their foreign and defence ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April previous year in retaliation for al-Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians. Later, a White House briefing on a call between Trump and May said that they "continued their discussion of the need for a joint response to Syria's use of chemical weapons".

"And what's most important is no one contests that the use of chemical weapons can not be tolerated and must be deterred, " he said. Russian officials - both from Moscow and speaking at the United Nations - alleged quickly after Saturday's suspected attack that the images of the victims in Douma were fake.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also claimed that following Syrian rebels' withdrawal from the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, stockpiles of chemical agents were allegedly found there.

Late Friday night, the U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S., United Kingdom and France jointly launched strikes targeting the Assad regime's chemical weapons capabilities after a suspected chemical attack killed dozens outside of Damascus.

Britain has accused Russian Federation of poisoning them with a Soviet-designed agent, an accusation that Moscow denies.

I've honestly lost count how many times those in Syria have suffered a chemical attack since the war against Assad began years again.

Worldwide investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog are in Syria and were due to start their inquiry on Saturday into the suspected toxic gas attack.

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