Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Russia's Syria envoy in Iran for talks on chemical attack

Russia's Syria envoy in Iran for talks on chemical attack

Israel's military forces have been put on high alert after Iran threatened to retaliate over the bombing early Monday of an air base in central Syria.

Syria's state-run news agency earlier reported that missiles struck the T4 air base early on Monday. US President Donald Trump's statement about Tehran's possible involvement in the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma is hypocritical, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

After congratulating the Syrian Army for its recent victories in East Ghouta, east of Damascus, the Iranian representative noted that they are an overwhelming success for the Axis of Resistance in the region and are a defeat for the Zionist-U.S. project and its supporters.

"A lack of coherent strategy toward Syria is strengthening our adversaries and weakening our allies", Block warned and "the power vacuum would immeasurably strengthen Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and his evil regime propped up by his patrons Iran and Russian Federation". The group also agreed to give up its prisoners, a key government demand.

More than 100 buses entered the town on Sunday night to take the fighters and their families to Jarablus, a town under the shared control of rebels and Turkey, said Syrian state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV.

Syrian state media said dozens of civilians who had been held for years by the rebels were set free.

They say Monday's airstrike hit a house in Dimnat Khadir district, an area that has seen heavy fighting between Saudi-backed government forces and Iran-allied Houthi rebels.

Moscow responded by saying that it would view a USA airstrike on Syria as a "war crime".

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The Russian Embassy in London said earlier Saturday Yakovenko had sent a "personal note" to Johnson asking for the meeting. And, in the last few days there has been even speculation that Viktoria Skripal is being manipulated by the Kremlin.

Eastern Ghouta, which is home to almost 400,000 people, fell to multiple militant groups in 2012, months after Syria plunged into crisis and has since served as a launch pad for fatal attacks against residents and infrastructure in Damascus.

The Observatory gave a higher death toll, saying at least 80 people were killed in Douma, including around 40 who died from suffocation.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "made a preliminary analysis of the reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons immediately after they were issued", said director general Ahmet Uzumcu.

Russian Federation and Syria deny that chemical weapons were used.

Over 10 people were killed in the pre-dawn attack on the T-4 airbase near Homs.

"A president who says he wants to get the hell out of Syria is not really in a position to threaten the military progress of the regime", he said.

In Block's view, "whatever the debate over the JCPOA - the nuclear agreement signed between Iran, six world powers and the European Union in 2015 - a robust consensus in Congress is needed that Iran's military role in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere must be countered".

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