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Britain denies Russian claims that it staged Syria chemical attack

16 April 2018

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia (L) and Bolivia's Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz speak to the media outside Security Council chambers at the U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., April 12, 2018.

"The barbaric aggression. will not affect in any way the determination and insistence of the Syrian people and their heroic armed forces", state news agency SANA cited an official source in the Syrian foreign ministry as saying.

US security officials immediately called for global action to intervene in the situation after the chemical attack Saturday, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I'd only rejoin Pacific trade pact if deal was "substantially better" GOP unveils mock cover of Comey book with "ego" attack NY Daily News cover hits Trump over Comey book revelations MORE has threatened a possible military strike against the government forces.

The Russian ambassador to the United States railed against the US-led coalition campaign against suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities.

"In the past year and a half Russian Federation has fully restored Syria's air defence system and continues to further upgrade it", Rudskoi said.

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An attack on them could raise the risk of a wider war in Syria at a time when Trump still wants to withdraw 2,000 US troops there in a matter of months.

Trump has singled out Russian President Vladimir Putin for his support of Assad, as well as Iran.

"There were no attempts to broaden or expand that target set". Moscow strongly warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate.

The US and France have said they have proof it took place, and, alongside the United Kingdom, they are considering launching military retaliation against Syria.

"Russia had a choice - either to risk and respond militarily, which is very risky because you can lose, or what is happening now".

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Elena Supponina, a Middle East specialist at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which advises the Kremlin, said Moscow's warnings about avoiding escalation had been heeded because "no red lines were crossed".

Why is the West considering military action?

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that "nice and new and 'smart!'" missiles would be coming Syria's way, and that Russian Federation should "get ready".

"Our relationship with Russian Federation is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War", Trump tweeted on Wednesday. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

There were no immediate plans for more attacks, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said.

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The outgoing head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, this week appeared to confirm reports that around 200 Russian mercenaries were killed in February during a clash with US-led forces in Syria.

Britain denies Russian claims that it staged Syria chemical attack