Syria air strikes: Russian Federation 'not tampering' with chemical attack site

Russia claims Syira chemical attack was staged by United Kingdom

The sanctions are reportedly imminent and will target Russian companies that have helped the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad make and deploy chemical weapons like those that spurred the United States and its allies to launch more than 100 missiles at Syria over the weekend.

The US authorities are considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation and the relevant decision will be taken soon, according to the White House's statement TASS received on Monday.

USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Sunday that the U.S. will imminently impose a new rounds of sanctions on Russian Federation.

Haley said the joint military strike "put a heavy blow into their chemical weapons program, setting them back years" and reiterated that if Assad uses poison gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded". Russian Federation has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and has helped turn the tide of war in his favor since entering the conflict in September 2015.

The United States and European allies had discussed a sanctions package in the build up to last week s strikes against targets in Syria, with the American measures said to be further along in the planning process than Europe - where consensus among member states is needed.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday accused Britain of staging a fake chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend, a bold charge that comes amid Moscow's stern warnings to the West against striking Syria.

In a televised interview Sunday night, French President Emmanuel Macron said the U.S., France and Britain had "full global legitimacy to intervene" because they had gotten evidence the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people and the airstrikes were enforcing worldwide humanitarian law. A day before a team from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog was to arrive in Douma, just east of Damascus, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj.

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"Russia confirms its commitment to ensure safe (sic) and security of the mission and will not interfere in its work", the Russian embassy in The Hague said in a tweet.

"The objective of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons", Trump said.

He reiterated that no chemical attack had happened in Douma. "We are open for those contacts, they help to understand each other better", Lavrov said. "We can't allow even the smallest use of chemical weapons".

The air strikes, however, risk dragging the United States further into Syria's civil war, particularly if Russia, Iran and Ass opt to retaliate.

"You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down", Haley said.

The Associated Press reported late Monday (Thailand time) that its journalists visited Douma on a government-approved media trip, and spoke to residents who described a terrifying gas attack on April 7.

May called for wider diplomatic efforts on the use of chemical weapons, "including the full range of political and economic levers", but stopped short of directly calling for sanctions against countries supplying the Assad regime with chemical weapon technologies.

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