Vladimir Putin condemns US-led airstrikes on Syria

Theresa May to face MPs over lack of vote before military action in Syria

A senior Russian diplomat has said inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog can not access the site of an alleged chemical attack near the Syrian capital without an appropriate United Nations permit.

Syrian Canadians expressed a range of reactions to the recent USA -led airstrikes against Syria's government, with some denouncing foreign aggression and others calling for even stronger action to end the conflict that has devastated the country.

According to Petter Lycke, Sweden's representative at the OPCW executive council, Syria and Russian Federation told the inspectors that their safety could not be guaranteed.

The OPCW team is tasked with determining whether banned substances were used in the attack, a charge that both Syria and its most powerful ally, Russia, have vehemently denied. The Labour leader wants a parliamentary vote on Monday when Prime Minister Theresa May will make a statement in the House of Commons. Peskov said only that Russian Federation was against "groundless" accusations about who was responsible for the attack.

The Washington Post editorial board was of the opinion that "Chemical attacks should be answered with cruise missiles".

FILE - A child is treated in a hospital in Douma, near Damascus, Syria, after a suspected chemical attack, April 7, 2018.

"A significant body of information, including intelligence, indicates the Syrian regime is responsible for this latest attack". US ambassador Kenneth Ward said on Tuesday that he and USA allies believe that, in the 11 days since the attack, Russian forces have had plenty of time to tamper with the site.

"We are concerned they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation".

The US launched military strikes on Friday night, alongside United Kingdom and French forces, aimed at reducing the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities.

Haley also said the response by the Trump administration was "cumulative", taking into account not only the recent chemical weapons attack in Douma, but also other, smaller, attacks.

In an impassioned defence to the European Parliament on Tuesday, France's President Emmanuel Macron admitted that Saturday's strikes had been a more political than military decision.

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The comments came after the announcement that the U.S.is prepared to ramp up pressure against Russian Federation in the form of economic sanctions in a bid to halt Moscow's support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who is accused of perpetrating the recent chemical attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the military strikes violated the UN Charter and that if they continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in worldwide relations", according to a Kremlin statement on Sunday.

The British government also published its legal position on the airstrikes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the military action "legally questionable".

Within hours of the joint US, UK and French attack - which saw 105 allied missiles hit strategic targets - the Damascus government attacked the two towns in the Syrian countryside.

In a brief statement on the Kremlin's website, Mr Putin demanded an emergency meeting of the United Nations security council to discuss "the aggressive actions of the U.S. and its allies". This was spotted by eagle-eyed reporters who knew U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and vice president Mike Pence were not in Washington on Friday.

Haley followed up with an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday in which she promised further consequences for those allied with Assad, namely Russian Federation and Iran.

Trump, she said, has "talked to our allies and said they need to step up more".

But for Syrians who had welcomed the prospect of strikes - and in many cases, called for them over many years - it did not take long for hope to sour into disappointment.

"We worry that's it's not part of a larger strategy to end the war crimes in Syria, but just a show of power that's going to scare the regime a little bit but then everything goes back to normal". "I think that's the right approach", Haley added.

"Trudeau is not acting because the Canadian public doesn't know what is happening in Syria", she said.

On Monday, the French ambassador said priority must be given to boosting the work of the world's chemical arms watchdog so it can dismantle Syria's "secret" toxic weapons programme. - The White House put further daylight between President Trump and his United Nations ambassador, Nikki R. Haley, on Tuesday, as Mr. Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said she had gotten "ahead of the curve" in announcing new sanctions against Russian Federation.

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