Russian Federation summons Israeli envoy after Syrian airbase attack

Charlene Craig
April 13, 2018

Syrian news agency SANA reported that eight of the missiles fired by Israel were downed but some got through resulting in what one military source said were "martyrs and wounded".

Syrian opposition activists say 40 people died in Saturday night's chemical attack in the town of Douma, the last remaining rebel bastion near Damascus.

"Tel Aviv is now more involved in the Syrian developments and would benefit from the worldwide mobilization against (regime chief Bashar) Assad", he said, adding that Israel is keen on stopping the Iranian expansion in the region and on preventing the presence in Syria and Lebanon of Iranian missiles that threaten Israel's national security.

Forces from government allies Russian Federation and Iran, as well as fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, are known to have a presence at the base, according to the observatory.

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"At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting airstrikes in Syria", the Pentagon said in a statement. Moscow reportedly has called on Israel to clarify its involvement.

Human rights groups and United Nations officials say the tactic amounts to forced displacement, a war crime.

President Donald Trump called the airstrike "mindless" and blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin as "responsible" for supporting the attack. The U.N. Security Council planned to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the chemical attack. Trump has declared his intent to withdraw USA troops from Syria in the coming months, despite resistance from many of his advisers.

More than 500 people, mostly women and children, were brought to medical centres complaining of difficulties breathing, foaming at the mouth and burning sensations in the eyes.

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According to a police doctor , 47 of the affected women were susceptible to long-term complications as a effect of the treatment. The two women struck up a conversation, during which it emerged that the younger woman was considering giving up her baby.

The Syrian government denied the allegations, calling them "fabrications" by the Army of Islam and a "failed attempt" to impede government advances.

The United States denied attacking the Syrian base.

The European Union also said evidence pointed to the use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces.

Russia's Tass news agency reported Sunday that 8,000 fighters would be allowed to leave Douma for other opposition-held areas in northern Syria.

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In 2013, also in Eastern Ghouta, a sarin attack killed more than 1,000 people - an event that prompted then president Barack Obama to threaten military action against the Syrian government.

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