Russian Federation to make 'every effort' to improve political relations with West: Moscow

Russian Journalist Investigating Syria Mercenaries Dies After Falling From Apartment Window

Russian Journalist Investigating Syria Mercenaries Dies After Falling From Apartment Window

France, the United States and Britain circulated a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council late Saturday that aims to establish an independent inquiry into who is responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Russia and Iran called the use of force by the USA 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.

The United States, Britain and France have argued that military action was necessary after Assad's forces had used toxic gases multiple times in violation of global law.

The Security Council is comprised of five permanent members - the US, France, Great Britain, China and Russian Federation - and 10 rotating members.

A former officer in Syria's chemical program, Adulsalam Abdulrazek, said Saturday the joint U.S., British, and French strikes hit "parts of but not the heart" of the program.

"There is every reason to believe that after the USA strikes on Syria, the Americans will be eager to move to a strategic dialogue", Interfax news agency quoted Vladimir Ermakov, head of the foreign ministry's department for non-proliferation and arms control, as saying.

The remark came in a parenthical phrase during an interview on Fox News Sunday, as Haley blamed Russian Federation for strains in its relationship with the United States. "It is crucial that the dialogue with the allies of Syria be resumed".

"The first attack was within expectations and was already priced in the market".

"If the goal was to pressure Syria to expedite a political solution, I think what happened will complicate the political solution and will strain worldwide relations and the Geneva track, if not torpedo Geneva altogether", Nasrallah told an election rally in Lebanon.

When pressed, he acknowledged that some unspecified portion of Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the CBS TV program "Face the Nation" that the United States would announce new economic sanctions Monday aimed at companies "that were dealing with equipment" related to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged chemical weapons use. Moscow has also tempered its tone, saying only that "there will be consequences".

The Syrian leadership has denied any involvement in the attack, and invited the experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate into the reports.

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. It later deployed another 5,000 security forces there.

The inspectors were due to attempt to visit the Douma site.

The Syrian military says it's now in control of the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus.

France, meanwhile, has reached out to Russian Federation, urging it to join renewed peace efforts.

President Donald Trump was furious last month when the USA announced it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, far less than its Europe allies, although he instructed his aides to "match their numbers" because he didn't want his administration to be perceived as taking the toughest stance on Moscow, the Washington Post reports.

"It was retaliation, not an act of war", Macron said on French TV channel BMF and online investigative site Mediapart.

"I can really confirm that the sanctions are to be imposed on Russia without any link to reality", she said on Russian television. Macron spoke with Putin on Friday, before the airstrikes.

The U.S. -led operation won broad Western support. Russian Federation has pursued a separate track for political negotiations, hosting talks in Sochi.

Minister Blok again in Syria.

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