Chemical weapons attack 'could easily happen' in US, Nikki Haley warns

US destroyer launching cruise missile at Syria

Responding to Friday's attack on its soil, Syria has condemned "with the strongest terms" the aggression by US, Britain and France and called on the worldwide community and the UN Security Council to strongly condemn the act which can only lead to further ignite tensions and pose threat to the global peace and security.

In the last century, we looked straight into the darkest places of the human soul.

"Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the UN Charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in worldwide relations", a Kremlin statement said.

The narrowly targeted pre-dawn military operation on Saturday took aim at three alleged chemical weapons facilities.

At a council meeting on Friday, the United States, Britain and France made the case for military action, arguing that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces had used toxic gases multiple times in violation of worldwide law.

Dunford said the USA did not coordinate targets with or notify the Russian government of the strikes, beyond normal airspace "de-confliction" communications.

"We will work calmly, methodically and professionally, using all opportunities to remove the situation from its current extremely unsafe political peak".

Assad praised the Soviet-era air defense system that Syria had reportedly used to shoot down around 70 of the 100 missiles fired during the strikes, Russian news agencies said.

"We all know our work in Syria is not done", she said.

DAMASCUS: International inspectors launched their investigation Sunday into an alleged chemical attack near Damascus that prompted an unprecedented wave of Western strikes against Syria´s regime. Moscow criticised the joint United Nations and OPCW inquiry as flawed.

But Russia has blocked countless resolutions against its Syrian ally and the regime has appeared determined to continue its military reconquest of the country. Defence secretary Gavin Wiliamson told BBC Radio 4: "Our service personnel have played an important role in terms of degrading the ability of the Syrian regime to use chemical weapons in the future, but also it sends a clear message to the Syrian regime that they can not continue to use chemical weapons with impunity". The meeting followed missile strikes by the United States, France and Britain against Syrian government targets over a suspected poison gas attack a week ago.

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"This is not about regime change".

But he says the recent Turkish invasion has been devastating and he says he and his wife were especially anxious to hear the president say he wanted to pull United States troops out of Syria. And so our goal is that yes, we will be at the talks as we have been related to the Geneva process.

In a separate interview, Haley told CBS News that new sanctions against Russian Federation, which has forces in Syria supporting the Assad regime, would be announced Monday that would "go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use".

Trump also announced sanctions against Russian Federation in August, accusing Putin's government of tampering with the 2016 US presidential election.

The two leaders "found that this illegal action seriously damaged the prospects of a political settlement in Syria", a Kremlin statement said.

"I say to the foreign secretary, I say to the prime minister, where is the legal basis for this?" "The humanitarian intervention is a legally debatable concept at the present time", he said in a TV interview with the BBC.

"The time has come for Western forces that support terrorism to admit that they have lost control", Assad said to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the phone. "He is in a good mood", Natalya Komarova, a Russian governor, was quoted by Interfax as saying. It blamed Islamic State militants for the use of mustard gas.

Russian Federation countered that the US-led action was aimed at overthrowing Assad and keeping Moscow's influence in check. She claimed the attacks set back Syrian chemical weapons research by years.

The claim was also seen as tone deaf given how protracted the Syrian conflict is, with the potential to escalate still further. She also added that the sanction "will have to do with chemical equipment used by [the Syrian President Bashar] Assad". "The United States is always there and will continue to be there", she said. The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.

Speaking to Fox News, Haley accused Russian Federation of de-facto facilitating the alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma in the Damascus suburbs by supporting the Syrian government.

Also on Sunday, Pope Francis used his weekly address in St. Peter's Square to express his deep concern over the failure of world leaders to come up with a plan to end the violence in Syria.

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