Iran condemns chemical weapons attacks, denies Syria's role

Iran condemns chemical weapons attacks, denies Syria's role

Iran condemns chemical weapons attacks, denies Syria's role

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday raised the possibility of military action against Syria if it was proved to have carried out a chemical weapons attack. "This is about humanity and it can't be allowed to happen".

"We must not overlook Russian Federation and Iran's roles in enabling the Assad regime's murderous destruction", she said. He added: "We are studying that situation extremely closely. And we will be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours", Trump said yesterday.

President Trump has called the suspected chlorine gas attack "barbaric", referencing images of sick, suffocating and dying children.

Mr Nebenzia dismissed claims the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons as "fake news" as he called for inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to fly to Syria on Tuesday to visit the site of the alleged attack. Trump bombed Syria's Shayrat air base on April 7, 2017, after reports of chemical weapons attacks against Khan Sheikhoun, but the United States missile strikes were widely viewed as symbolic, having had little-to-no impact on Syrian, Iranian and Russian forces. "And if he does it's going to be very tough, very tough". He criticized Syrian officials for not allowing worldwide observers into the area of the attack, and vowed that "everybody's going to pay a price".

The latest escalation comes at a pivotal time for the United States, as Mr. Trump charts the American course in Syria.

"The timing of the strike isn't coincidental", said Michael Horowitz, a senior analyst at Le Beck International, a Middle East-based geopolitical and security consultancy.

Russian Federation said there is no evidence Syria carried out such an attack.

"Who does this? Only a monster does this", Haley said Monday.

"I want to get out", Trump said.

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Assad's military allegedly used chemical weapons this weekend to clear a rebel-held territory in Douma, just outside the capital of Damascus.

"From what we hear now, I am afraid they are looking for a military option, which is very, very risky", he told reporters following an emergency council meeting.

The UN's top human rights official, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, warned against what he called a "collective shrug" and "impotent" worldwide response to the possible use of chemical weapons in Douma.

Earlier Monday, Trump said the chemical attack was "atrocious" and "horrible", adding that the USA would make "major decisions" about its response over the next 24 to 48 hours. The State Department said in a statement that it was consulting with allies on a response. He said an escalation of the conflict could have "unimaginable consequences".

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, said Russian specialists had found no trace of a chemical attack on Douma.

The crisis was due to be discussed later on Monday at an urgent UN Security Council meeting, while the U.S. also circulated a draft resolution for a new independent inquiry of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

"The US resolution is pretty obviously a bait for the Russians, who will have no choice but to veto it", Richard Gowan, a United Nations expert from the European Council on Foreign Relations, told AFP.

Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan spoke by phone Monday with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Sunday condemned the Syrian regime's continued siege of Douma and the bombings over the past 24 hours, which are "in flagrant violation of worldwide humanitarian law".

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