More strikes by West on Syria would spark 'chaos,' Putin tells Rouhani

Tuesday, 17 Apr, 2018

Assad and Russian Federation deny using chemical weapons, the trigger for the strikes early on Saturday.

United States sources said they had obtained blood and urine samples from victims which had tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent.

Before dawn on Saturday, a coalition of USA, United Kingdom and French forces launched more than 100 missiles targeting three chemical facilities in Syria in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians on April 7. "Saying it's been a success - we won't know until we see if the regime continues to use chemical weapons".

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the CBS TV program "Face the Nation" that the United States would announce new economic sanctions Monday aimed at companies "that were dealing with equipment" related to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged chemical weapons use.

The inspectors were due to attempt to visit the site of the suspected gas attack in Douma on April 7, which medical relief organisations say killed dozens of people.

Haley, in her Fox News interview, also defended its use as a military term, rather than as a broader political statement.

"We of course know our work in Syria is not done", Haley said.

US military officials said an initial assessment showed every one of the missiles struck its target on Saturday, reducing the facilities to rubble while avoiding any civilian casualties.

Haley also said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will announce new sanctions against Russian Federation for its support for Syria's chemical weapons program Monday. According to Damascus, which has repeatedly said that it eliminated its chemical weapons stockpiles, the attack damaged Syrian infrastructure, and left three civilians injured. Responding to the airstrikes, Putin on Saturday condemned what he called "an attack on Syria".

A year ago, the United States launched missiles on Syria in response to another chemical weapon attack, he noted. The legality of the air strikes under global law, however, remains questionable.

On Saturday, France, the United States and the United Kingdom handed over to their 12 Security Council partners a new draft resolution on Syria, which is reportedly expected to address the chemical weapons issue, as well as the political and humanitarian problems.

The Russians, however, say 71 missiles were shot down by Syrian systems - many of them older Soviet-era defences.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs.