After Skripals case, Syria ‘chemical attack’ intensifies US-Russia confrontation
After the expulsion of diplomats from both sides in the wake of the allegations that Moscow poisoned of its former spies Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, UK, violating international law and sovereignty of another country, it is Syria which has emerged as the latest venue of confrontation between the US and Russia.
On Monday, April 9, after US President Donald Trump said a decision on a response to the alleged use of chemical weapon by the Syrian regime in Douma to crush the rebel's last stronghold was imminent, Russia warned that any sort of military action by the Americans would lead to "grave repercussions".
Russia led by Vladimir Putin has backed Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against the West for political and strategic reasons and the latest confrontation proved that it is in no mood to concede any territory over the Syrian problem.
Trump met his generals in the White House on Monday to discuss on options available to respond to the attack in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, which killed several dozens of people and left hundreds sick and injured.
The act earned the Assad regime an international wrath and even Trump, who is otherwise known to be soft on Putin despite his country's long tradition of rivalry with Moscow, said Putin also bore some responsibility for the act by supporting "Animal" Assad.
Russia has countered the allegations of the use of chemical weapon saying there was none and even if there was, it was an act carried out by the rebels backed by the West.
Trump, while heading for the cabinet meeting with his new national security adviser John Bolton, told the media that a decision on Syria was shortly due as the US could not allow such "atrocities" to continue.
Trump also had a talk with French President Emmanuel Macron, who also has threatened a military action if it was found that the Syrian regime had indeed carried out a chemical weapons attack. A statement issued by the White House said the US and French governments would maintain their coordination on responding to the "use of chemical weapons" in Syria on April 7.
The Syrian state media also brought counter charges on Monday saying the US had carried out a missile strike at an airbase in the country's Homs province which led to deaths of many, including Iranians. Pentagon denied the charges. Syria and Russia also accused Israel of the missile strike.