Russia's United States ambassador warns of consequences for Syria strikes

Russia's United States ambassador warns of consequences for Syria strikes

Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Friday that Britain was "directly involved in the provocation", but didn't elaborate or provide evidence.

Moscow also said it was calling an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, where it is a permanent member, to discuss the "aggressive actions" of the U.S. and its allies.

Karen Pierce said she wanted "to state categorically. that Britain has no involvement and would never have any involvement in the use of a chemical weapon".

But this was balanced by a warning from France's ambassador to the U.N., Francois Delattre, who told the Security Council that the Syrian government's decision to use chemical weapons again meant they had "reached a point of no return".

"We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies", it said. "We can not take such risks", he said at a forum.

She told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council called by Russian Federation that should the US and its allies decide to act in Syria it will be to defend "a bedrock worldwide norm that benefits all nations" - the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. Moscow alleged quickly after Saturday's suspected attack that the images of the victims in Douma are fake.




Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Lavrov reiterated a strong warning to the West against military action in Syria.

She accused Russian Federation of defending Syrian President Bashar Assad and failing to ensure that Syria's chemical weapons were destroyed as the Assad regime had pledged in 2013.

On the ground in Syria, rebels in Eastern Ghouta surrendered their heavy weapons and their leader left the enclave, signaling the end of one of the bloodiest assaults of the seven-year war and a major win for the Assad regime.

Russia's denial of the attack comes as Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, is set to study the area for evidence. The Russian military said its chemical experts visited Douma shortly after the alleged attack and found no trace of chemical agents in ground samples.

He said the attack was staged on April 7 to coincide with military action by Syrian government forces, after the rebel group Jaish al-Islam that long controlled Eastern Ghouta carried out shelling of Damascus from April 3 to 6.

Douma and the sprawling eastern Ghouta region near the capital, Damascus, had been under rebel control since 2012 and was a thorn in the side of Assad's government, threatening his seat of power with missiles and potential advances for years.

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