Diplomatic tensions between the UK and Russia deepened amid claims that Moscow was blocking investigators from reaching the site of a chemical weapons attack in Syria. The UK said it was “essential” the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was granted “unfettered access” to Douma.
Bombs have fallen. Damascus has been beaten again. The United States, United Kingdom and France coalition launched airstrikes against Syrian targets as Donald Trump sought to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack last weekend near Damascus that killed more than 40 people.
Britain said on Sunday Russia bore responsibility by proxy for civilian deaths in Syria last week caused by a poison gas attack that Washington says was carried out by the Moscow-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. At least 70 people died in what the United States says was a chemical weapons attack in rebel-held Syria.
MI6 Director Alex Younger said on Thursday that the unprecedented terrorist threat his country is going through would not abate until the end of the civil war in Syria. Ha added that 12 plots to commit an attack have been dismantled since June 2013 and warned that the efficiently murderous Islamic state continues to plan attacks from Syria, despite recent military setbacks.
The UN Security Council on Friday (Nov 20) authorized countries to take all necessary measures to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in a resolution that won unanimous backing a week after the Paris attacks.
The United States is willing to work with Iran and Russia to try to end the Syrian conflict, US President Barack Obama on Monday but insisted there could not be a return to the status quo under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Saudi Arabia's Gulf Arab allies and Egypt have applauded its decision to reject a UN Security Council seat in protest at the world body's failure to act on Syria, whose leader is backed by Russia and Shi'ite Iran.
British MPs have rejected possible UK military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to deter the use of chemical weapons. A government motion was defeated by 285 to 272, a majority of 13 votes.
Russia is back. President Vladimir Putin wants the world to acknowledge that Russia remains a global power. He is making his stand in Syria. The Soviet Union acquired the Tartus Naval Port in Syria in 1971 without any real purpose for it. With their ships welcomed in Algeria, Cuba or Vietnam, Tartus was too insignificant to be developed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lacked the funds to spend on the base and no reason to invest in it.
While Western and Arab countries responded with outrage after Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez considered the veto as “very positive”.