Facing a stark choice between engaging the United States, Britain and France in combat or passively watching them strike his ally, President Vladimir Putin has opted for the peaceful route. It also said Russian officers found no patients with chemical attack symptoms at a local hospital, and no indication of any burials of victims.
"You have to be quite abnormal to attack Syria's capital just at the moment when it had a chance for a peaceful future".
Russia, which has military forces deployed in Syria in support of the government, warned that USA air strikes risked starting a war.
Such a clash could have quickly spun out of control - an extremely unsafe scenario that was widely compared to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the world narrowly escaped a nuclear conflict.
France has concluded after analyzing "reliable intelligence" and open sources that a chemical attack on Douma on April 7 was carried out by Syrian government forces, a declassified intelligence report showed on Saturday.
According to Reuters calculations, three Russian tycoons targeted by a new list of U.S. sanctions may have lost a combined $7.5 billion in less than a week since the list was announced.
"The escalation of the situation around Syria has a devastating impact on the whole system of worldwide relations", he added. On Friday Trump said, "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents".
"The sole thing they have an interest in is to oust the Syrian government and more broadly to contain the Russian Federation", he said.
Russian air defenses, stationed at a naval base and an airfield, were not triggered by any of the allied attacks. Damascus and Moscow deny blame for any such attack.
The Kremlin's tight control over the media will help Putin avoid any significant damage to his carefully nurtured image of a strong leader.
Are we going to war with Russian Federation?
President Donald Trump has put off a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria after tweeting earlier that they could happen "very soon or not so soon at all".
Top military officials, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, warned Trump during an afternoon meeting Thursday that he risks escalating USA involvement in Syria if he goes forward with the type of aggressive bombing campaign he has pushed over the past week, according to United States and Western officials briefed on the conversation.
Russian Federation accused Washington of putting worldwide peace at risk and requested a United Nations meeting in NY later in the day but it was not confirmed that it will happen.
Russian Federation is expected to call an emergency session of UN Security Council to discuss the strikes on Syria at 11A.M. EST.
Anatoly Antonov said in a statement on Friday (US eastern time) that Russian Federation had warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences" and "all responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris".
"The White Helmets were told that in a period from April 3 to 6 Jaysh al-Islam militants would conduct a series of massive artillery bombings of Damascus".
Moscow may consider supplying S-300 surface to-air missile systems to Syria and "other countries", Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi told a televised briefing on Saturday.
He stressed that in a situation with the impact of the USA and its allies on Syria, "the question is not about the conflict between the superpowers".