Britain's UN ambassador denies Russian accusation over alleged chemical attack in Syria

Syrians wave Russian Syrian and Iranian flags during a protest against U.S.-led air strikes in Damascus

Britain's UN ambassador denies Russian accusation over alleged chemical attack in Syria

However, US President Donald Trump cast doubt on Thursday over the timing of his threatened strike on Syria in response to a reported poison gas attack, while France said it had proof of Syria's guilt but needed to gather more information.

As Trump embarked on a White House address to announce the action - taken in defiance of Russia´s threat to respond - explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus, signalling a new chapter in a brutal seven-year-old civil war.

USA officials suspect the Russia-backed Assad regime is behind the attack.

Lavrov warned against USA military "adventures" in the country, but signaled that Russian Federation remains open for negotiations.

Theresa May held an urgent Cabinet meeting yesterday afternoon to discuss Britain's response to what she has cast as a barbaric attack that can not go unchallenged.

President Donald Trump says the United States has "launched precision strikes" on targets associated with Syrian chemical weapons program.

Russian lawmakers have warned the United States that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime, saying it could trigger a direct military clash.

Syria and its ally Russia have denied such an attack took place, and Moscow has accused Britain of helping to stage the Douma incident to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

The investigators, who are only mandated to determine if chemical weapons were used and not who used them, were expected to start their investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based agency said. Trump canceled a foreign trip in order to manage a crisis that is testing his vow to stand up to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that following Syrian rebels' withdrawal from the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, stockpiles of chemical agents were found there.

President Vladimir Putin later referred to this claim, saying on April 4 that Russian Federation had "irrefutable proof" that rebels were planning an attack with "poisonous substances".

Trump did not detail what a strike would look like, or whether these would be usa missiles.

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the information affairs committee in the upper house of parliament, struck a more moderate tone, saying that Russian Federation has powerful conventional weapons to fend off a US attack in Syria.

"We hope there will be no point of no-return, that the USA and their allies will refrain from military action against a sovereign state", he said.

On Friday, before Trump's announcement, Russia's government news site Tass reported that the Russian Navy was monitoring US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ships in the eastern Mediterranean.

He did not elaborate but added that the USA military stood ready to provide military options, if appropriate.

Asked about the Swedish proposal, Nebenzia said Russian Federation will study it, but that "frankly in the circumstances we are finding ourselves now, this is not an immediate priority".

Syrian TV called the attacks a "blatant violation of worldwide law and shows contempt for global legitimacy".

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