Russian Federation defiant after Syria bombing, warns of "consequences"

Syria claims a third of the missiles fired during the US-led air strikes were shot down

Trump ordered a missile strike on Syria in April previous year in retaliation for an earlier alleged chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

Loud explosions were heard in Damascus before daybreak, Xinhua reporters in the besieged city said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said their forces had joined in the attack.

Guterres renewed his call for an investigation to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks after Russian Federation this week vetoed a United States proposal to create such a mechanism.

Relaying a conversation with Donald Trump, she said: "I spoke to the president this morning and he said if the Syrian regime uses this poison gas again, the United States is locked and loaded". Yet he made no mention of a possible Russian military response.

Nevertheless, Assad's government and Russian Federation both responded angrily. "We are being threatened". "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!" he says on Twitter.

The chairman of the worldwide affairs committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, said the strikes were a violation of worldwide law and probably created to prevent investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog from doing their work.

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The U.S. -led coalition is being called the biggest intervention in Syria's civil war by Western powers since the conflict began in 2011.

The three countries targeted Damascus and surrounding areas in retaliation to the alleged chemical attacks by President Bashar al-Assad last week, which killed at least 60 people. "These are not the actions of a man". After the attack ceased and the early morning skies went dark once more, vehicles with loudspeakers roamed the streets of Damascus blaring nationalist songs. Smoke could be seen rising from the northern and eastern edges of the capital. Syrian TV showed video of the rubble of one target which appeared to have been destroyed by a missile strike. Barzah is the location of a major Syrian scientific research centre.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, insisted there's no proof of the chemical attack and decried the allied raid on Syria. Some of those more than 40 Syrian missile interceptors, he suggested, might have hit civilian targets. Then, days after a suspected chemical attack by Syrian forces on rebels, Trump warned over Twitter that missile strikes would be coming. That attack, White says, hit a Syrian military air base and was meant to focus on Syria's ability to deliver chemical weapons.

Mattis described the strikes as a one-off to dissuade Assad from "doing this again".

Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons.

Trump, however, has been leery of U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, and is eager to withdraw roughly 2000 troops who are in Syria as part of the battle against Islamic State. Trump said in his remarks Friday. "Iran is opposed to the use of chemical weapons on the basis of religious, legal and ethical standards, while at the same time it. strongly condemns (using this) as an excuse to commit aggression against a sovereign state", it said in a statement carried by state media.

"Such attacks will have no result but more destruction. the Americans want to justify their presence in the region by such attacks", Rouhani was quoted as saying, signalling that Iran's support for Assad would grow.

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