Damascus defiant as Trump orders strikes after Syria chemical attack

The director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told a meeting of the OPCW executive council that inspectors had not been allowed to visit the town outside Damascus, the United Kingdom delegation tweeted.

In a brief statement on the Kremlin's website, Mr Putin demanded an emergency meeting of the United Nations security council to discuss "the aggressive actions of the USA and its allies".

The UK has accused Syria and Russian Federation of preventing independent chemical weapons experts from entering the city of Douma, hit by a suspected gas attack that Western leaders have blamed on the Syrian government.

The sanctions are the latest effort by the United States to punish the Assad regime and its allies for a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians two weeks ago.

Essia Atrous, the chief editor at the Arabophone Tunisian newspaper "Assabah" (The Morning), said the US attacks on Syria were not a surprise.

The draft document also calls for medical evacuations and the safe passage for aid convoys to all areas of Syria.

Russian Federation has military forces, including air defenses, in several areas of Syria to support President Bashar Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

The document "demands" that the Assad regime engage in peace talks "in good faith, constructively and without pre-conditions".

A boy stands next to the remains of a bomb in Douma on Monday.

Western diplomats have said they were ready to allow time for negotiations to make every effort to bring Russian Federation aboard.

Russian Federation has used its veto 12 times at the Security Council to block action targeting its Syrian ally.

After Saturday's strikes, which destroyed mostly empty buildings, the trio of Western powers trying to reassert influence on the seven-year-old war has appeared to favor diplomatic action.

Earlier, Russia suggested the OPCW Executive Council pass a brief resolution in support of the organization's fact-finding mission in Syria. Eight countries opposed condemnation while four abstained.

The most recent destruction in Syria is the aftermath of the US who, along with its allies France and the United Kingdom, bombed three empty facilities all related to Syria's chemical weapons. "We're evaluating, but nothing to announce right now". They found themselves turned away by Russian troops.

"You are not only placing yourselves above global law, but you are trying to re-write worldwide law", Nebenzia said.

The OPCW is holding an emergency meeting in The Hague to discuss the suspected chemical attack in Douma.

Questions are also being raised by opposition politicians in all three countries that took part in the air strikes. "Saying it's been a success - we won't know until we see if the regime continues to use chemical weapons".

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday night that the USA military, in conjunction with British and French forces, had targeted three sites - a scientific research center near Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a storage facility and command post also near Homs.

The council has met five times this week on Syria amid repeated pleas from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to end divisions over Syria.

  • Tracy Klein