Russian Federation says the western strikes on Syria are 'unacceptable and lawless'

Members of the Syrian police hold their weapons as they sit on a back of a truck at the city of Douma Damascus

But "Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma".

Putin said Russian military experts did not find any traces of chlorine gas or other poisonous substances in the area where Syrian government forces are alleged to have launched a chemical weapon attack, namely, in the rebel-held district of Douma near capital Damascus. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, released statements by medics from Douma's hospital who said a group of people toting video cameras entered the hospital, shouting that its patients were struck with chemical weapons and causing panic.

The US and its allies believe the Syrian regime was behind the attack, but Russian Federation has long insisted it was staged by rebels in an attempt to provoke further Western intervention.

A French defense minister seemed to contradict Dunford's assertion early Saturday morning, saying Russian Federation was warned ahead of time, the Associated Press reported.

"Cabinet agreed that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack".

Damascus has invited a team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to visit Eastern Ghouta.

President Vladimir Putin's Kremlin has deployed warplanes and troops to Syria to defend Assad's regime, and - as usual - issued a series of conflicting denials on his behalf. Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defense ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.

"We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign was involved in this staged event", he said during a press conference.

The suspicions of tampering heightened concerns that the truth about the April 7 attack may never be known.

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma has been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

In the fraught aftermath of the suspected attack in Douma and the West's response, Washington also prepared to increase pressure on Russia, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's main ally, with new economic sanctions.

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Russia's theories about last Saturday's suspected chemical attack are reminiscent of previous contradictions.

Iran's pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani also warned that the US-led missile attack on Syria would lead to further destruction in the Middle East.

TRT World's Kevin McAleese explains what Trump's options are.

"We warned about this long ago", he said.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Russian's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told reporters following a closed-door meeting of the Security Council.

"We hope there will be no point of no return".

United States allies have offered strong words of support for Washington, but no clear military plans have yet emerged.

He criticised the United States and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog to visit the area.

He talked, I believe, the day before yesterday with President Putin. "Russia was supposed to guarantee Assad would not use chemical weapons, and Russian Federation did the opposite".

"Obviously, deaths with chemical weapons are a real tragedy, a disaster, but on the other hand when barrel bombs with conventional weapons drop, they do not distinguish between people, children, women, elderly and they kill all of them mercilessly", he said.

Erdogan says: "What we insisted on tenaciously was the fact that is not right for tensions to heat up; we made requests concerning the restitution of peace and the end of the tragedy that is going on".

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