Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Russia Hints It May Provide Advanced Air Defenses To Syria

A rescue worker carries a child following an alleged chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus Syria April. 8 2018 A rescue worker carries a child following an alleged chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus Syria April. 8 2018./AP
Judith Alexander | 26 April, 2018, 12:47

The US-led missile strikes were justified by unverified reports of an alleged use of poisonous gas in the town of Douma in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta on April 7 and targeted what the West called the Syrian government's chemical weapons facilities.

Already this year, Israel attacked the Islamic Republic's T-4 base near Syria's Homs at multiple times, including once on April 8 when Tel Aviv launched airstrikes against the facility, killing four members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), now fighting for Assad.

The Syrian Archive, which works with human rights groups such as Amnesty International, said it has verified 861 videos covering some 212 attacks — majority believed to have been carried out by government forces.

Chemical weapons inspectors collected on Wednesday more samples from the Syrian town of Douma, three weeks after a regime chemical attack in the area that left at least 40 people dead.

And now, according to Sputnik, the investigators, who spoke with Russian General Staff Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, revealed that they had found no evidence of chemical weapons in the remains of research facilities that were supposedly integral to the Syrian Army's chemical weapons program.

A spokesperson for the Russian mission said the Russian and Syrian representatives would hold a news briefing for members of the organization on April 26 where they would speak about the alleged Douma incident. "They will be split and dispatched for analysis by the OPCW designated labs", the message says.

The FFM of the OPCW was sent to Damascus on April 14.

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Photos from the strike show Syrian air defenses likely fired blindly at nothing. He recalled that "even a day after those strikes when those buildings were burning and there was a lot of smoke still around you had large crowds of reporters... on the scene not wearing protective equipment", which would have been deadly in case of a chemical spill.

It's not the first time the Jewish state struck at Iran in Syria, but with Russia's mounting involvement there this week's action was seen as jeopardizing its relations with the Vladimir Putin regime.

Britain announced $630 million for 2018 and another $418 million for 2019, while Germany said it would donate $1.218 billion and the European Union pledged some $791.8 million.

More than 700,000 people have been displaced since the start of this year alone as Assad has stepped up his offensive against rebel forces, intensifying the humanitarian crisis.

"We need in particular Russia, Iran to exercise pressure on Damascus so that it accepts to sit at the table under United Nations auspices", Mogherini said as she arrived for the gathering, the seventh of its kind.

Russian Federation is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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