SA government condemns recent attacks in Syria

SA government condemns recent attacks in Syria

SA government condemns recent attacks in Syria

France concluded after technical analysis of open sources and "reliable intelligence" that a chemical attack on Douma on 7 April was carried out by Syrian government forces, a declassified intelligence report said on Saturday.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said it maintained its position that the Syrian crisis should be handled by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The American envoy to the OPCW, Ambassador Kenneth Ward, said Russian Federation might be helping the Syrians obscure evidence that the Syrian government carried out the chemical attack.

The UK government blamed Russia for the poisoning, and the episode prompted the expulsions of Russian diplomats from more than 20 countries.

He says the U.S., France and Britain intervened in a "legitimate, multilateral framework" and stressed airstrikes specifically targeted three chemical weapon facilities "without any human life loss".

His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the USA -led invasion of Iraq. "Mission accomplished", you might say.

Meanwhile, Trump on April 15 informed Congress in writing of his decision to order USA missile strikes against Syria. Under the War Powers Resolution, the president must keep Congress informed of such actions.

A Pentagon spokesman said there was no USA military activity in that area at this time. "The use of force under the pretext of punishing and retaliating [against] the use of chemical weapons also violates global law as present worldwide law also bans the use of force in retaliation for illegitimate actions. All these states should leave us alone", she said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the country's objectives had been met and that no new strikes were planned at this point but promised to retaliate if the red line on chemical weapons was once again crossed. He spoke in an interview with Turkey's NTV television.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump defended his use of the term "mission accomplished" to describe the operation in Syria.

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"We prefer to be killed from chemical attacks because at least our bodies remain intact".

Asked about Macron's comments, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders stressed that Trump's plans for the region have not changed.

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Syria and Russian Federation of trying to cover up evidence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said troops would not be removed until ISIS was defeated, chemical weapons no longer threatened U.S. interests and it could ensure the monitoring of Iranian activity.

Syrian forces recaptured the area from rebels over the weekend.

"We support the fact that our U.S., United Kingdom and French allies took on responsibility in this way as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council". "They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use", she explained.

· Russian Federation reported that the Syrian air defense systems intercepted around 70 of the missiles that had been fired towards the targets in Syria but the USA chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford said he was aware of no initial losses. Russian Federation said on Saturday it would consider supplying S-300 surface to-air missile systems to Syria following the Western strikes, but this was not discussed at the meeting with Assad, agencies reported.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, slammed the strikes as a "military crime". In fact, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no additional attacks were planned.

"On the intelligence collected by our services, and in the absence to date of chemical samples analysed by our own laboratories, France considers, beyond possible doubt, a chemical attack was carried out against civilians at Douma. and that there is no plausible scenario other than that of an attack by Syrian armed forces", the report said. She said Syrian officials have been searching evacuees from Douma to ensure samples are not smuggled out.

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