Russia: Syria chemical attack 'fabrication' by foreign power

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the nuclear weapons treaty a ‘milestone’ but acknowledged more needs to be done

While Trump himself was silent on Syria on Friday, giving no further clues on whether U.S. military action was imminent, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington estimated Assad's forces had used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long Syrian conflict.

Macron spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, hours before the Western missile strikes.

Western powers continued to weigh their options on Friday over possible strikes against Syria's regime as pressure built to avoid an escalation following a warning from Russian Federation that military action could lead to "war".

In April previous year Trump ordered Tomahawk strikes on the Shayrat Airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack on rebel-held Khan Sheikhun.

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

Ryabkov also said Russian Federation would study a U.N. resolution on Syria proposed by the United States, France and Britain, but added that it would be hard to reach a compromise on the issue, TASS reported. "We warned that such actions will not remain without consequences", the report said.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the toxic gas assault on April 7 that killed dozens of people in Douma, a town near Damascus which had been held by rebels until this month.

Since 2015 France has carried out air strikes against Islamic State in Syria as part of allied forces linked to the USA -led coalition, conducting about 5 percent of total coalition air missions.

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At the United Nations meanwhile, diplomats were mulling a draft resolution put forward by Sweden and obtained by AFP, that would dispatch a "high-level disarmament mission" to rid the country of chemical weapons "once and for all". "We can not take such risks", he said at a forum.

Trump had also said last week that Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in Douma because of his support for the Syrian government.

"I hope hot heads will cool down and that will be it", he told reporters.

He noted that the Russian and USA militaries have a hotline to prevent incidents, adding that it's not clear if it would be sufficient amid mounting tensions. -Russian showdown. Apart from Macron's phone conversation with Putin, NATO members Germany and the Netherlands have said they will not take part in any military action.

"Why didn't you wait for the outcome of the investigation you called for?" A week later, the government regained full control of the town following a surrender deal with the rebels there, and on Sunday it deployed another 5,000 security forces in Douma.

Russian officials condemned the US -led airstrikes on three sites in Syria early Saturday, calling the attacks "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace".

Guterres said he has asked Syrian special envoy Staffan de Mistura to come to NY as soon as possible to consult "on the most effective way to accelerate the political process".

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