France urges Russian Federation to join peace push after Syria strike

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"We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, dismissed Konashenkov's claim as "a blatant lie".

There was no word from Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, though his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow was in contact with Washington to discuss an atmosphere which he described as alarming.

Russian Federation entered Syria's civil war in 2015 and has backed the Assad regime.

As chemical weapons experts arrived in Syria to investigate a suspected poison gas attack by government forces, global diplomacy was in high gear to head off an escalation, though accusations flew thick and fast between Washington and its allies, and Russia, Assad's main backer.

The UN Security Council is to meet again on Friday, at Russia's request, to try to defuse the standoff, as United States President Donald Trump appeared to back away from imminent action, days after warning Russian Federation to "get ready" for missile strikes.

Russian Federation also calls it "fabricated".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Friday that Syria was responsible for the attack but added pointedly,"We also hold Russian Federation responsible for their failure to stop chemical weapons attacks from taking place".

The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and risky actions ... that would have consequences beyond conjecture".

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The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that following Syrian rebels' withdrawal from eastern Ghouta, stockpiles of chemical agents were found there.

Since 2015 France has carried out air strikes against Islamic State in Syria as part of allied forces linked to the USA -led coalition, conducting about 5 percent of total coalition air missions.

John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has worked with Bolton in the past, said Bolton was opposed to "empty symbolic gestures that make us feel good but have no strategic effects". "I hope no one would dare to launch such an adventure now", Lavrov said. And the three allies are considering a joint military strike in retaliation.

Trump had also said last week that Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in Douma because of his support for the Syrian government.

Russian officials and President Trump have US have exchanged heated rhetoric since Trump began talk of a USA response to the alleged chemical attack throughout the past week.

"Why didn't you wait for the outcome of the investigation you called for?" The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marked a major victory for Assad.

Russian officials condemned the US -led airstrikes on three sites in Syria early Saturday, calling the attacks "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace".

Assad, who is supported by Iranian-back fighters as well as the Russian air force, has cemented his control over most of the western, more heavily populated, part of the country.

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