Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria: What We Know and Don't Know

Calvin Saunders
April 13, 2018

The US President is widely expected to announce military intervention after the weekend's chemical attack in Douma, just outside Damascus. The president also called Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who signed off on Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey a year ago, "conflicted".

Vladimir Shamanov, chairman of the defence affairs committee in Russia's lower house of parliament, said on Tuesday that Russian Federation has "the necessary means for that and that Americans and their allies know that quite well", adding that a retaliatory strike could target USA aircraft and naval ships, Reuters news agency reported. "Attacking one side in Syria will draw the USA deeper into the civil war rather than reducing our role".

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria", he wrote. On Tuesday, the United States and Russian Federation presented separate draft resolutions at the UN Security Council on investigating the alleged chemical attack, however both resolutions were vetoed.

USA and Russian forces most recently clashed in February, when US strikes killed dozens of Russian citizens helping Syria's government attack a rebel base.

"The department does not comment on potential future military actions".

Western leaders, including the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom, are coordinating on how to respond to the attack.

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That, in part, may be the reason Trump sent his threatening tweet early on Wednesday. "The U.S. commitments in Europe are far greater than our capabilities".

Trump later suggested the "bad blood" between Washington and Moscow has been caused by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller's ongoing federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

On Monday Trump said "nothing is off the table" in terms of how the United States would respond to the "atrocious" attack. They would probably use missiles that can be fired from a safe distance.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any US missile salvo could be an attempt to destroy evidence of the reported gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, for which Damascus and Moscow have denied any responsibility. He, like Thompson, anxious about the Russian reaction.

"That leads me to believe another precise cruise missile strike is the only option", he said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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