USA to Impose New Sanctions on Russia After Syria Chemical Attack

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Russian Federation has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and has helped turn the tide of war in his favor since entering the conflict in September 2015.

The U.K.'s defense ministry said Britain contributed "four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s", to the effort.

He said that "intelligence agencies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russo-phobic campaign were involved in that fabrication".

There was no word from Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, though his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow was in contact with Washington to discuss an atmosphere which he described as alarming.

But, the official added, Trump believes that in order to be able to negotiate successfully with Putin, it is essential that he demonstrate he is willing to take a harder line in Syria.

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Another official said Bolton did not advocate for any particular position beyond agreeing that the United States should retaliate for the attack if it was clear what chemicals had been used and who used them.

A Russian bid for the United Nations Security Council to condemn U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack failed on Saturday after only China and Bolivia joined Russia to vote in favor of a draft resolution.

Earlier on Saturday, Syrian police units entered the town of Douma, a site of a suspected chemical weapons attack and the last rebel town in the eastern Ghouta region.

Russia's foreign ministry said Syria had been attacked just as it had a chance for peace. "We can not take such risks", he said at a forum.

Meanwhile, Western allies of the US came out in support of the strikes.

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Trump had also said last week that Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in Douma because of his support for the Syrian government. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

Russian officials and President Trump have US have exchanged heated rhetoric since Trump began talk of a USA response to the alleged chemical attack throughout the past week.

A first team of experts from the global Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has arrived in Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

President Donald Trump is pressing for a more aggressive US strike against Syria than military chiefs have recommended as he adopts a tougher stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose support for Syria's government has allowed it to crush opposition forces, USA officials said.

France said Thursday it has proof that Syrian government forces, which Russian Federation has pledged to protect, conducted the attack. It also said Russian officers found no patients with chemical attack symptoms at a local hospital, and no indication of any burials of victims.

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Putin spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and urged him to do nothing to destabilise Syria . The statement also condemned the air strikes on Syria where its armed forces are backing regime leader Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian military says it's now in control of the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus. The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marked a major victory for Assad.

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