U.S. refutes reports of attack on Syrian airbase

Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

Some Iranian media reported that one of those killed was a member of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, a division that operates drones. Earlier, the rebels of the Islam Army in the area backed down on an agreement they had concluded with the Syrian government and Russian Federation on their evacuation from Douma and refused to release kidnapped people from its prisons. "Big price to pay", he said.

According to the reports, the chemical attack on Saturday killed at least 49 people and injured 500 others, Thomas Markram, the deputy to the United Nations high representative for disarmament affairs, told the Council.

Global condemnation grew over a suspected poison gas attack in a rebel-held town near Damascus said to have been carried out by the Syrian government, while Syria and its main ally, Russia, blamed Israel for airstrikes on a Syrian air base Monday that reportedly killed 14 people, including four Iranians.

Former US President Barack Obama had once said that the use of chemical weapons, which is banned under worldwide treaties, which Syria remains a part of, was a "Red Line" for the US' strategy in the Syrian Civil War. Russia, Assad's most powerful ally, called the reports fake.

AP quoted SANA saying it was "likely to be an American aggression" though USA officials told the organization no American military action had been taken.

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The Syrian regime also confirmed that an air base had been hit by a missile attack.

"Through the relevant channels we already conveyed to the USA that armed force under mendacious pretext against Syria - where, at the request of the legitimate government of a country, Russian troops have been deployed - could lead to grave repercussions", he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned against military action on the basis of "invented and fabricated excuses".

The Syrian opposition blamed the suspected chemical attack on government forces, who launched an air and ground assault on Douma, the last rebel-held town in the eastern Ghouta district, on Friday.

Macron said in February "France will strike" in the event of lethal chemical weapon attack on civilians by government forces in Syria. "Douma city, April 7. there is a strong smell here", a voice can be heard saying.

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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters: "While the United Nations is not in a position to verify these reports, the secretary-general notes that any use of chemical weapons if confirmed, is abhorrent, and requires a thorough investigation".

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council that Washington "will respond" to the attack on a rebel-held town in Syria regardless of whether the United Nations Security Council acts or not.

According to The Atlantic, The White Helmets, a voluntary aide group, pinned the blame for the assault, which claimed more than 40 civilian lives, on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Housing Minister Yoav Galant, while also not confirming that Israel had carried out the attack, said: "We have clear interests in Syria".

The UN Security Council will meet twice on Monday following rival requests by Russian Federation and the United States to investigate the alleged chemical attack. It said the other three landed in the western part of the T4 base.

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