What is known about suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria

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Syrian opposition and activists have criticized the Russian Federation deployment in the town, saying that evidence of chemical weapons' use might no longer be found.

Following the recent attacks "we all know, Syria has maintained a secret chemical programme since 2013", the ambassador added, referring to the year when Syria finally joined the OPCW and admitted to stockpiling toxic arms.

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov blamed the Western air strikes carried out early on Saturday for holding up a mission by the OPCW team to Douma. "There is practically no basis of trust any more", he told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

But the joint UN-OPCW mechanism ended in November 2017 after Russian Federation repeatedly blocked attempts at renewing it.

The White House said Monday that Mr. Trump still wants to pull us troops out of Syria, despite a boast by France's president that he persuaded Mr. Trump to commit American forces to the war-torn nation for the long term.

This of course doesn't rule out Assad, but it does raise some uncomfortable questions for those cheering yet another illegal U.S. military attack against a country that has been under attack for the past seven years by the same forces that attacked us on 9/11.

USA tells watchdog Russian Federation 'may have tampered' with Douma attack site
The accusations come at a time of dramatically increased tensions between Russian Federation and the west. It followed a series of warnings by Western governments that Moscow is behind a string of cyber attacks.

"It is our concern that they [Russians] may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation", Ward was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

The timing chosen for this escalation, on the eve of important Arab events, and the absence of the usual appropriate consultations, may raise questions, misunderstanding and indignation, the source said.

Failing that, she suggested that rather than strike at chemical weapons facilities, that the United States and it allies destroy Assad's conventional weapons and military capabilities. Still, French Defense minister Florence Parly told reporters that Russian authorities were warned ahead of time, as proof the action would be limited to specific targets.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has indicated new economic sanctions will be announced Monday against Russian Federation for enabling the government of Syrian leader Bashar Assad to continue using chemical weapons. "The information we have points to the use of both chlorine and sarin, both of which are chemical weapons", one official said.

But on Friday night, Mr. Trump said the U.S.is "prepared to sustain this response" until Syrian President Bashar Assad halts his believed use of chemical weapons.

The Kremlin released a statement from Putin saying the strike was an "act of aggression against a sovereign state which is in the front line in the fight against terrorism", and that there was no proof a chemical weapons attack had taken place.

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"Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the [United Nations] Charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in worldwide relations", the Kremlin said in a statement obtained by the news service.

Monday saw Theresa May face MPs for the first time since the military action on Saturday, which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described as "legally questionable".

Syrians walk through the destruction in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, Monday, April 16, 2018.

Washington, meanwhile, prepared to increase pressure on Russian Federation with new economic sanctions.

She authorized the strikes without parliamentary backing and it's not clear she would have got it if she'd sought it. Parliament refused United Kingdom participation in a planned punitive raid on Syria in 2013, one of the reasons then-U.S. President Barack Obama called it off.

The G-7 members say they "remain committed to a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria".

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