Russia: UN permit holding up chemical weapons probe in Syria


The Trump administration warned that any use of chemical weapons would trigger another attack.

The OPCW director-general also said Monday that Syrian authorities offered to bring 22 witnesses to Damascus for the team to interview.

Local activists in Idlib and Homs told Middle East Eye that air strikes and shelling resumed on Sunday and continued till Monday, after America said it was "locked and loaded" if President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons again.

But Russia and Syria begged to differ, saying missile defenses took out 71 of the 105 missiles fired.

The Group of Seven leading industrialized nations has issued a joint statement endorsing the US -led air strikes in Syria.

Both Russia and the Syrian government have welcomed the OPCW visit.

Photos of the missile strike launched by the U.S., the United Kingdom, and France on targets in Syria on Friday night appear to show the Syrian defenses firing blindly in a wild and most likely failed attempt to intercept the missiles.

The use of chemical weapons proves to Assad's core supporters that he is willing to go to great lengths to remain in power, Cafarella said.

Russia is also challenging an OPCW finding that a nerve agent was found in an attack in Salisbury on the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has said his country is "fully ready" to cooperate with the OPCW mission. He said government officials met with the delegation, which has been in Damascus for three days, a number of times to discuss cooperation.

France urged OPCW nations to boost the organisation's work so it can completely dismantle Syria's "secret" toxic weapons programme. The OPCW team does not have a mandate to assign blame for the attack.

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Russian Federation vetoed previous year the extension of the mandate of another joint U.N. -OPCW joint body in charge of determining who was behind chemical other weapons attacks in Syria.

On Monday, the White House walked back her statement and said that it has not yet made a decision on sanctions on Russian Federation.

Hundreds of Syrians gathered in a landmark square in Damascus on Monday to show support for the Syrian government's armed forces after the airstrikes by the US and its allies, The Associated Press reported.

Protesters in Omayyad Square waved Syrian flags at the demonstration, dubbed a "salute to the achievements of the Arab Syrian Army", set off fireworks and unleashed celebratory gunfire.

Shouts of "Allah, Syria, and only Bashar", a reference to Assad, rang out. Less than one year later, Syria destroyed its hoard of declared chemical weapons, as verified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Liberal Democrat leader Vincent Cable said he was also concern that May "made a grave mistake not bringing the case for military action to parliament", and like Corbyn, accused her of "riding on the coat-tails of an unpredictable U.S. president".

A government-organised media tour did not include the building where, according to rescue workers and medics who were in town at the time, dozens of people were killed by poison gas.

Hours earlier, Syrian government-run media said the country's air defenses confronted a new "aggression", shooting down missiles over the central region of Homs and a suburb of Damascus.

Despite being in the area, the Cook didn't fire a shot - and it possibly served as a distraction while cruise missiles poured in from ships, submarines, and jets in an attack that the Pentagon says succeeded in that each hit.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May defended the country's recent missile strikes in Syria to the House of Commons on Monday, despite criticism from all parties that she had not sought parliamentary approval before the strikes.

"Use of chemical weapons is a breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention and constitutes a threat to global peace and security".