Trump still mulling military options in Syria as tensions with Russian Federation rise

AFPSergei Lavrov says Russia has proof that actors staged the alleged chemical attack in Syria

Russia's foreign minister says Moscow has received a document from a Swiss lab that analyzed the samples in the nerve agent poisoning of an ex-Russian spy, which points at a Western-designed nerve agent as a likely cause.

Saturday's strikes were limited in scope despite bellicose rhetoric from both sides, while a direct clash between the West and Russian Federation in Syria could quickly flip the seven-year-old conflict in a new and risky direction.

An attack on them could raise the risk of a wider war in Syria at a time when Trump still wants to withdraw 2,000 USA troops there in a matter of months.

"We are confident that we have crippled Syria's chemical weapons programme".

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia (L) and Bolivia's Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz speak to the media outside Security Council chambers at the U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., April 12, 2018.

A source familiar with the discussions about Syria said that despite his hawkish views on Russia, Bolton has not used his first days in office to push hard for a more extensive air campaign against targets in Syria.

As fears of a Russia confrontation with Western powers mount, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" over the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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But US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis struck a cautious note, telling lawmakers that the need to "stop the murder of innocent people" had to be weighed up against the risk of things "escalating out of control".

Russia's Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi said at a press conference on Saturday: 'This fact of American aggression shows that United States of America is not interested in conducting an objective investigation, wishes to disrupt the process of peaceful resolution in Syria and destabilise the situation in the region and has nothing to do with the previously proclaimed goals of fighting worldwide terrorism'. Moscow strongly warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate.

Moscow will kick up "a huge row" including at the United Nations, Malashenko predicted, "but no real action will be taken". Russian could also target USA allies in the region with cyber attacks, it said.

Communication on the line is a near-daily occurrence created to stop mishaps as a US-led coalition conducts an air war against the Islamic State group while Russian Federation pursues its own goals of propping up Assad.

Russia, China and Bolivia voted in favor of Moscow's emergency resolution, well short of the nine "yes" votes Syria's main ally needed.

Inside the briefing room laden with chandeliers, parquetry floors and gilded oil paintings, Ambassador Yakovenko outlined his concern about the dual crisis that have plunged Western relations with Russian Federation to lows not seen since the Cold War this week to the world's press. Mattis said no additional attacks were planned, though Trump earlier suggested the strikes could last longer.

He later told reporters at the White House: "We're having a meeting today on Syria".

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