United Nations rejects Russian call to condemn Syria strikes

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech during a session at the State Duma the lower house of parliament in Moscow

United Nations rejects Russian call to condemn Syria strikes

Speaking about the Skripal poisoning and looming decision over air strikes against the Syrian government, he accused humanitarian groups of staging the chemical attack and blasted the United Kingdom for a lack of "transparency" during the Salisbury investigation.

Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow's U.N. ambassador said he "cannot exclude" war between the United States and Russian Federation.

The official says that "Syria continues to carry out murderous actions and be a base for these actions and others, including Iran's, that put its territory, forces and leadership in peril".

The UN Security Council was to meet again Friday, at Russia's request, to try to defuse the standoff, as US President Donald Trump appeared to back away from imminent action, days after warning Russian Federation to "get ready" for missile strikes.

Asked if he was referring to a war between the United States and Russia, Nebenzia told reporters: "We can not exclude any possibilities unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming from Washington".

While Donald Trump's tweets threatening missile strikes on Moscow's ally Syria spooked global markets, Russian stocks and the ruble have rebounded on Thursday from losses caused by USA sanctions.

Russia's ambassador to Lebanon on Tuesday had told Lebanon's Al Manar TV that any US missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted, Reuters reported.

Mr. Nebenzia also called for the UN Security Council to meet again on Friday to discuss the possibility of Western military action.

A White House briefing on a call between Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May said that they "continued their discussion of the need for a joint response to Syria's use of chemical weapons".

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A first team of experts from global watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has arrived in Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Western intervention in Syria would "lead to new waves of migrants to Europe".

She said: "This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped - not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we can not allow the erosion of the worldwide norm that prevents the use of these weapons".

"The nations of Britain, France and the United States have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality", Trump said in an address after the strike.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria", Trump tweeted.

State TV channels compared what they described as U.S. President Donald Trump's reckless action with the responsible, statesmanlike stance taken by Putin.

"Any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent". Crude surged on Trump's taunts that Moscow should "get ready" for missiles to rain down on Syria.

Amid warnings that firing special counsel Robert Mueller would be "suicide" and could end his presidency, Trump unexpectedly blamed Mueller for preventing better ties with Russian Federation. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" They are expected to start their investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based agency said.

U.S. officials suspect the Russia-backed Assad regime is behind the attack. But the administration appeared determined to deliver on the president's threat to punish the use of poison gas.

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