Monday, 16 July, 2018

Syrian air defences shoot down missiles over two air bases

Syria air strikes US President Donald Trump said the Syrian regime attacks Syria air strikes US President Donald Trump said the Syrian regime attacks"crimes of a monster
Ebony Burgess | 17 April, 2018, 20:31

Earlier Tuesday, Syria's state news agency said inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had reached the town of Douma to investigate a suspected April 7 gas attack.

The worldwide team has been in the country since Saturday, but has not been allowed to visit Douma.

An Israeli military spokesman said he was "not aware" of the incident and USA defence spokeswoman Heather Babb said there were no American operations in the area. Both Damascus and its ally Russian Federation have denied using any such weapons.

Hours earlier, Syrian government-run media said the country's air defenses confronted a new "aggression", shooting down missiles over the central region of Homs and a suburb of Damascus.

Worldwide inspectors have entered the Syrian town where an alleged chemical attack was carried out earlier this month, Syrian state media reported Tuesday, after they had waited for days in the capital for permission from Syrian and Russian authorities.

It said Syrian air defenses shot down most of the six missiles fired at the base.

A Pentagon spokesman said there was no USA military activity in that area at this time.

Early on Saturday morning Syrian time, the US, UK, and France launched a coordinated missile strike on multiple targets in the country.

The reported barrages come three days after a major missile attack by the USA, United Kingdom and France on regime positions in Syria.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says Syria and Russian Federation - whose forces now control the town east of Damascus - are trying to cover up evidence. They are expected to gather soil and other samples to help identify the substances - if any - used in an attack.

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"We are concerned they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission to conduct an effective investigation", he said.

Earlier Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the inspectors could not go to the site because they needed approval from the U.N. Department for Safety and Security. But it said no missiles landed inside the bases.

Alexander Rodionov of the military's chemical weapons protection unit said Tuesday its experts found chlorine and components for producing mustard gas at a rebel laboratory in Douma.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the Syrian government to ensure global chemical weapons inspectors are able to work without restrictions.

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

The Group of Seven leading industrialized nations has issued a joint statement endorsing the US -led air strikes in Syria.

Mr. Trump, who has expressed growing impatience with the cost and duration of the effort to stabilize Syria, alluded to the push on Friday night, when he announced the missile strikes...

As his speech came to a close, the first reports of explosions in Damascus began to emerge.

He says the U.S., France and Britain intervened in a "legitimate, multilateral framework" and stressed airstrikes specifically targeted three chemical weapon facilities "without any human life loss".

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