Russia Jams American Drones in Syria, US Says

U.S President Donald Trump warned on Monday of a quick and forceful response to the reported killing of at least 60 people in an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

The US draft was created to fail and thus "justify" unauthorized action in Syria, Russia's United Nations envoy said. "If you made a decision to carry out an illegal military endeavour, we hope that you will come to your senses".

Mr. Trump should keep lines of communication open to Mr. Putin, for if there is a summit and there is a thaw, Mr. Putin can help to contain the damage in Syria.

Trump - who previous year launched a missile strike on a regime base after another alleged chemical attack - warned Sunday that there would be a "big price to pay".

He added that Russia would submit a draft United Nations resolution today calling for a full investigation with the OPCW, saying the Syrian government and Russian forces were ready and available to facilitate an inspection "already today".

Moscow opposes any Western strike on its close ally Assad and has vetoed Security Council action on Syria 12 times since the conflict started.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council on Monday that both Russian Federation and Iran could stop the Syrian government's "murderous destruction", adding that Moscow's hands are "covered in the blood of Syrian children".

Initial U.S. assessments have been unable to determine conclusively what materials were used in the attack and could not say with certainty that Assad's forces were behind it.

Syrian opposition activists and paramedics said more than 40 people were killed in last weekend's suspected chemical attack and blamed the government.

Vladimir Shamanov, the chairman of the defense affairs committee in the State Duma, said in televised remarks that Russian Federation would consider "all political, diplomatic and military measures" against the U.S.in the event of a strike in Syria.

France said it would respond if it was proven that Assad's forces carried out the attack.

The European Union also laid the blame squarely on Assad's Government.

But the incident has thrust Syria's seven-year-old conflict back to the forefront of worldwide concern and has pitted Washington and Moscow against each other again.

After meeting with senior military leaders, President Trump canceled a weekend trip to South America to remain at the White House as the U.S., Britain and France draw up plans for a high-stakes airstrike against Syria.

The Syrian regime and it ally Russian Federation have rejected claims of an attack, with Moscow arguing against jumping to any "dangerous" conclusions.

Any U.S. strike is likely to involve naval assets, given the risk to aircraft from Russian and Syrian air defense systems.

Just over a year ago, it was a similar chemical attack that inspired Trump to order dozens of Tomahawk missiles launched at a Syrian airfield.

Daniel Davis, a retired army lieutenant colonel and fellow at the Defense Priorities military think tank, cautioned against US military action. Last year, Russian Federation mocked the attack on a Syrian airbase, claiming it was operational just a day or so later.

Earlier, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the US would not rule out military force against the Assad regime.

A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a number of other assets could be moved into position "in a short period of time" if needed.

President Trump said in a tweet there would be a price to pay for use of chemical weapons (again) in Syria.

The statement expressed Syria's preparedness to devote all its efforts to cooperate with OPCW experts based on transparency and reliable evidence.

Citing a foreign ministry source, state news agency SANA said Syria was ready to cooperate with a fact-finding team.


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