Donald Trump, the United States president, has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, spurring concerns that a U.S. strike could lead to a conflagration with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.
The chairman of the worldwide affairs committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, described the air strikes as a groundless attack on a sovereign government, Interfax said.
Fox News reported that US military strikes would "go forward in Syria" and said the decision was made by Trump on the evening of April 13. A US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since September 2014 as part of a largely successful effort to break the IS grip on both Syria and Iraq.
Explosions are being heard to the east, west and south of Damascus as the US, United Kingdom and France conduct airstrikes in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government on its own people. After its departure, Syrian and Russian troops arrived.
In a statement Mrs May said that the Syrian regime had demonstrated a "persistent pattern of behaviour" when it came to the use of chemical weapons, that "must be stopped".
Among the initial targets according to accounts from inside Syria were a branch of a research centre that has been linked to suspected chemical weapons development, several air bases and the headquarters of some of the Syrian army's elite units.
Last month Britain blamed Russian Federation for a nerve agent attack on an ex-spy and his daughter, accusations Russian Federation has vehemently denied.
On Sunday, the day after the attack, the U.S. president said Russian President Vladimir Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in rebel-held Douma, because of his support for the Syrian government.
The attack in Douma complicated Trump's plans for the region.
Mr Trump, who has cancelled a planned trip overseas, has been canvassing support for strikes from the leaders of France and the UK. This has raised fears of a possible direct clash of USA and Russian forces.
Russian firms on brink as United States sanctions cause panic
Rusal, which produces about 7% of the world's aluminium, said it regretted its inclusion on the new USA sanctions list. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow was looking at how to support the companies and sectors that have been hit.
Moscow spent the week preparing its citizens for this with a very stark message: get ready for war, and not the Cold kind.
Trump says that last Saturday, Syrian President Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons in what was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime".
"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest", May said.
Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told NBC News on Thursday the administration has "enough proof" of the chemical attack but was still considering its response.
Even as Trump's substantive actions have been (relatively) narrowly targeted - embassy personnel may be replaced, and sanctions focus on a narrow group of individuals - Putin seems to have decided on a broad response.
CNN reported USA ships and aircraft were used in the strikes. Or last weekend's tweet may simply have been another facet of his rage and frustration at authority figures who fail to yield before him. It was, after all, criticism of prior elections that Putin perceived as personal that reportedly drove his outsized dislike for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and his desire to see her humbled in 2016.
"We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this", the prime minister said.
Western powers weighed their options on Friday over possible strikes against Syria's regime as pressure built to avoid an escalation and Russian Federation stepped up its warnings against military action which it said could lead to "war".
Trump spoke from the White House Friday night.
The Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) will start its investigation into the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Duma on Saturday amid calls by some Western countries for a response to the incident.
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