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Russia Performs Fire Maneuvers With Syria and Watches the US Ships

13 April 2018

Russian Federation is a major backer of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war, and strongly opposes the USA claim that Syrian government forces attacked a rebel-held town near Damascus on Saturday with chemical weapons. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! "If France doesn't react now that the conditions are met, we would lose all credibility", Bruno Tertrais, a political scientist at the Foundation for Strategic Research said. Russian Federation has threatened to use its air defenses against United States missile strikes.

"I think it's very unlikely that we would directly and intentionally target any Russian forces that are in Syria, so the way that a Russian officer or person would be harmed is by participating directly in Syrian military activity".

But a special hotline for the U.S. and Russian militaries to communicate about operations in Syria is active and being used by both sides, Moscow said Thursday.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged caution on attacking Syria.

This image released Sunday, April 8, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria.

Russia Performs Fire Maneuvers With Syria and Watches the US Ships

President Donald Trump has been cryptically hinting at his looming action on Syria for days, but a new report says he may have nailed down eight locations to strike.

Russian Federation has moved its warships out of a naval base in Syria after Trump announced that the strikes were coming in a move they chalked up to self defense. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, was convening a meeting of her Cabinet on Thursday afternoon, at which she is expected to make the case for supporting the U.S. in any military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

When all is said and done, the U.S., France and potentially the United Kingdom have the means to undertake another round of symbolic but ultimately ineffective strikes using standoff weapons against Assad's airbases and potentially weapons storage areas.

It's possible the locations lie far from Russian forces, and therefore carry a low risk of escalating tensions with Russia, but Trump's White House has said it's not afraid to target Russian assets.

The recent attack on Douma came after months of warnings that the "de-escalation zone" status of Eastern Ghouta had become "a farce", as State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in February, when the USA accused Russian Federation and Syria of carrying out attacks on civilians, targeting medical facilities, and using siege tactics. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!", Trump tweeted.

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"The threats of some Western countries to attack Syria is based on lies that these countries fabricated along with terrorist organisations", Assad's office said. "They are a guarantee of the observance of law and order in the town", the defence ministry said in a statement.

But he wrote today, "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Douma, the Syrian city where experts believe chemical weapons were used on civilians, has fallen to the government, after the last rebel group that had been fighting Syria's regime there capitulated.

The Syrian flag was raised above the central mosque in Douma, the site of an alleged chemical attack that sparked outrage and threats of Western military action.

The US, France and Britain have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, US officials have said.

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Prime Minister Theresa May prepared to convene a special cabinet meeting at 1430 GMT to weigh whether Britain should join the United States and France in a possible military action.

Russian Federation has positioned a state-of-the-art air defense system in Syria, but Winnefeld says that shouldn't prevent USA missiles from reaching their target.

At the U.N. Security Council, Moscow and Washington have so far vetoed each other's motions to set up an worldwide investigation into chemical weapons use. The Syrian government has denied the allegations.

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Russia Performs Fire Maneuvers With Syria and Watches the US Ships