United States tells watchdog Russian Federation 'may have tampered' with Douma attack site

Envoy to Moscow US contacted Russia before invading Syria to avoid casualities

In response to the recent anti-Russian sanctions, Russian lawmakers have submitted a wide-ranging bill that could suspend crucial exports to the United States, proposing a wide range of restrictions on the import of U.S. goods and services and could impact bilateral cooperation in such high-tech areas as nuclear engineering and space exploration.

Russian Federation on Saturday called USA airstrikes on Syria "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace".

By contrast, eight countries voted against the Russian draft - the U.S., U.K., France, Netherlands, Sweden, Kuwait, Poland and Ivory Coast. Four countries abstained - Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea and Peru.

When asked about the matter during a television interview, however, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted "that Russia has not tampered with the site".

The Trump administration plans to bring new economic sanctions against Russian Federation over its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday.

But on Monday, Lavrov told BBC: "I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tampered with the site".

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

"When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line", Haley stressed.

While he declared success, the Pentagon said the pummelling of three chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad government to use banned weapons against civilians if it chooses.


France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the result of the vote sends "a clear message" that Security Council members recognized the need for the airstrikes, and "their proportional and targeted nature". It says Syria's chemical weapons programme has been set back years. "Therefore allegations of this towards Russian Federation are groundless", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russia's deputy foreign minister said the delay was due to United States air strikes. "If we continue on this path, we will soon reach the diplomacy of the absurd". "It is crucial that the dialogue with the allies of Syria be resumed".

Inspectors in Syria have still not gained access to Douma.

The US says 105 missiles were launched and it believes none were intercepted by Syrian defences.

One of the three sites hit was the Barzeh complex, which the U.S. says was a centre for development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, although Syria denies this.

The United Nation vehicles carrying the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors arrive in Damascus, Syria April 14, 2018. "There must also be access to humanitarian aid and political consultation".

Russia and Iran called the use of force by the United States and its French and British allies a "military crime" and 'act of aggression.' The UN Security Council rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the aggression by the three Western allies. "And of course many think that Maksim's death could have been linked to his publications about Syria and the Wagner private military company, but we can't assert anything until after the results of the pre-investigation probe have been announced".

Guterres said he has asked Syrian special envoy Staffan de Mistura to come to NY as soon as possible to consult "on the most effective way to accelerate the political process".

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