The prospect of Western military action in Syria that could lead to confrontation with Russian Federation hung over the Middle East yesterday but there was no clear sign that a United States-led attack was imminent. "A pre-designed scenario is being implemented", his statement says.
SIMON: Charles, remind us, again, what is the Russian interest in Syria? Mattis and other government officials from the national security team warned Trump that such action would create conflict with Iran and Russia [VIDEO].
Asked what US President Donald Trump's next step against the regime should be, he replied: "I think the big thing is we've got to be prepared to take more action if this behaviour continues on the part of the Syrians".
Explosions lit up the skies over Damascus, the Syrian capital, as Trump spoke from the White House.
She went on to accuse the Russian government of using its veto power at the Security Council "to defend the Syrian regime's multiple uses of chemical weapons".
The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western powers against Assad in the country's seven-year-old civil war and pitted the United States and its allies against Russian Federation, which itself intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad. Experts consider that in that case, Moscow took into account the United States and the United Kingdom.
Russian officials made explicit threats to shoot down US missiles prior to the strike, and even to target the missile launchers.
"A fake "chemical weapons massacre" was a last attempt to stage a provocation for the benefit of extremists and their foreign backers", the embassy tweeted.
The Elysee palace said in a statement that Macron had also expressed regret about Russia's use of its Security Council veto on the attack. US officials had earlier said that Trump had pressed for a more aggressive USA strike against Syria than his military chiefs had recommended.
Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a Friday briefing that the alleged April 7 chemical attack in Douma, Syria was "staged". On the one hand, it is likely that the Syrian government would be more able to mobilize domestic public opinion in its own favor by depicting the situation as a direct foreign plot against the Syrian sovereignty. UK, US and France all participated in the strikes.
The statements said a group of camera-toting people entered the hospital, shouting that its patients were struck with chemical weapons and triggering panic.
There are already signs that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who meets and talks frequently with Putin and is close to Trump, is emerging as a key figure behind the scenes as Washington and Moscow and their allies maneuver to seek a way for US -led retaliation on Assad to proceed without escalating the conflict or expanding it.
The one-off missile strike in April 2017 targeted the airfield from which the Syrian aircraft had launched their gas attack.
John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has worked with Bolton in the past, said Bolton was opposed to "empty symbolic gestures that make us feel good but have no strategic effects". In between the lines, the Russian message seems to be, "How can you trust the fickle West and the United States, who abandon allies or leave them to fight alone?"