Russian Federation 'severely condemns' attack on Syria

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On Wednesday, the president tweeted that United States missiles "will be coming" and told Russian Federation, which has forces in Syria, to "get ready".

"America's war against Syria, and against the region's peoples and resistance movement, will not achieve its aims", Hezbollah said in a statement published on its War Media Channel. Dmitry Peskov added that it would have an "utterly destructive impact on the Syrian settlement".

The President promised never to telegraph military action against an enemy, yet all but showcased a coming missile strike on Syria.

The tweets also appeared divorced from the administration's policies on Russian Federation, where the United States is expelling diplomats and imposing sanctions on cronies of President Vladimir V. Putin.

The U.S. and its allies have threatened to respond militarily to an alleged chemical attack near Damascus last weekend.

Erdogan said he'll talk to Putin later on Thursday, a day after he talked to President Donald Trump about Syria. The Kremlin said a crisis communications link with the United States, created to avoid an accidental clash over Syria, was in use.

We heard in the video address by Ambassador Jon Huntsman here in Moscow - he said that, in fact, the USA had communicated with Russia to reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons. "A lack of accountability emboldens those who would use such weapons by providing them with the reassurance of impunity", the secretary-general said.

Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to London, said the White Helmets, a British-funded civil defense force, were responsible for staging fake chemical attacks.

In case of escalation, Russian Federation could use air bases of its ally Iran to deploy more aircraft closer to Syria. In a warning to the West against further strikes on Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said it is now considering arming Assad with Russian S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems for the first time.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that the sanctions were USA protectionism - particularly in the metals sector - in disguise. They are expected to arrive on Saturday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged by humanitarian groups.

Russia's lower house of parliament is to consider draft legislation that would give the Kremlin powers to ban or restrict a list of USA imports, reacting to new US sanctions on a group of Russian tycoons and officials. Meanwhile, in Britain, the cabinet agreed in principle "on the need to take action" in Syria to "deter the further use of chemical weapons", a Downing Street statement stated.

US President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House late on Friday.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that 12 cruise missiles have been launched at the Dumayr air base east of Damascus.

There have been calls from opposition parties and some Conservative MPs for Parliament to have a vote beforehand. That is not a legal requirement, though it is a convention.

Russian ships had left the Tartus naval base in Syria, Interfax news agency quoted a Russian lawmaker as saying.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced US Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron and Britain's Theresa May, branding them "criminals". An attack, the president said "could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

The Kremlin will also use the crisis to advance its narrative of an aggressive West that plunges the world into chaos and disregards global law.

"Russia convenes an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss aggressive actions of the USA and its allies", President Vladimir Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin website.

He defended the Syrian government against accusations that it had used chemical weapons on civilians. However, a report in the Russian newspaper Kommersant on Saturday morning said that French military officials had in fact warned their Russian counterparts of the impending strikes.

Friday's strikes appear to signal Trump's willingness to draw the United States more deeply into the Syrian conflict.