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Russia warns of war over Syria strikes

IANS  |  Moscow 

has warned the US that launching airstrikes in response to a in could spark a war between the two countries and accused of putting international peace at risk.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war," Moscow's UN said on Thursday.

Western powers are thought to be preparing for strikes but Syria's ally opposes such action, the reported on Friday.

Nebenzia said the situation was "very dangerous" and they "cannot exclude any possibilities". There is a heightened "danger of escalation" because of the Russian presence in Syria, Nebenzia said after a private meeting of the in

Senior Russian figures, including the of the military, warned that US missiles will be shot down and their launch sites targeted if Russian personnel come under threat, the report said.

Nebenzia also called for the to meet again on Friday to discuss the possibility of Western action. The said it was continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies on how to respond.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for the Prohibition of said its experts in will start investigations on Saturday.

The call for action came after a on the rebel-held town of in the Eastern Ghouta last week killed over 70 people. called the "fabricated".

The Violations Documentation Centre, which records alleged violations of international law in Syria, said bodies were found with foam at the mouth, discoloured

On Thursday, US officials said they had blood and urine samples from victims which had tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent, according to a report.

French also said he had "proof" that the had attacked with

In the UK, Cabinet ministers said that it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was responsible for the attack and said the use of must not "go unchallenged".

During a phone call late on Thursday, UK and US agreed on the need to deter in

Trump had also said last week that bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in because of his support for the

On Wednesday, the US President said the missiles were "coming", but on Thursday he tweeted that he had "never said when". It "could be very soon or not so soon at all".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 15:26 IST