Do not let Syria ‘spiral out of control’: UN warns America and Russia not to let crisis become a war as the Pentagon draws up a target list

Thursday, April 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

Donald Trump has vowed to launch airstrikes after latest Syrian chemical attack
Macron said he would respond to poison gas ‘proof’ at ‘a time of our choosing’
Military chiefs will already have drawn up a list of potential targets in the country
The UN has warned world powers against letting the crisis ‘spiral out of control’
Russia says hotline with US to avoid accidental clash is being used by both sides

12 April 2018

The UN has warned Russia and the US against letting the crisis over the Syrian gas attack ‘spiral out of control’ after Donald Trump warned ‘missiles will be coming’.

With tensions mounting in the Middle East this morning, the Kremlin said a crisis hotline with America – designed to avoid an accidental clash in Syria – was ‘active’ and being used by both sides.

Opponents of unilateral US action have today called an emergency closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council while Britain has scheduled an emergency cabinet meeting over the crisis, sparked by a horrifying gas attack on a rebel-held town in Syria.

With punitive US military action seemingly imminent, Russia scrambled to deflect blame from Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. According to a monitor group, regime forces have evacuated key defence buildings in Damascus.

Trump’s threat of strikes came in response to a warning from Russia’s ambassador to Beirut, who took to a television network run by the armed group Hezbollah to declare that any US missiles would be shot down ‘as well as the sources they were fired from.’

If the US action follows the pattern of a previous strike on Syria last year, it will begin with a salvo of cruise missiles fired from American warships in the Mediterranean, as Trump implied when he tweeted they would be ‘nice, new and ‘smart’.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as well as CIA director Mike Pompeo met at the White House on Wednesday to discuss options, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

With the UN Security Council failing thus far to find a diplomatic solution, Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that time was running out.

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