Chaos in two towns as Turkish and Syrian forces close in

Chaos in two towns as Turkish and Syrian forces close in

Chaos in two towns as Turkish and Syrian forces close in

In February, Macron had promised "retaliation and an immediate response from France" if the Syrian regime was found guilty of using chemical weapons against civilians, adding it would eventually "be answerable to worldwide justice" for its crimes.

Three weeks after launching a fierce offensive to capture the region, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have overrun more than half of Ghouta, whittling down rebel territory to three isolated pockets.

He said the latest reports of Syrian government forces killing civilians in eastern Ghouta show that troops are "at best indiscriminately" attacking and "at worst targeting hospitals".

Last year, the United States responded to reports that the Syrian regime had used sarin gas against the city of Khan Sheikhoun by attacking the regime's Shayrat Air Base.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia hit back at the United States and its allies for "doing nothing but constantly blaming the Syrian regime and putting demands on Russia".

"I've seen the pictures".

"They are Assad's partner and whether the airplane dropping the bomb is a Russian airplane or a Syrian airplane, I'd prefer not to say right now", he said. "We have a higher standard to make sure we understand precisely what took place, precisely who did it so that our response can meet the threat".

"I just want to reiterate it would be very unwise for them to use weaponised gas", CNN quoted Mattis as saying on Sunday while en route to Oman.

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The Kandy region, 115 kilometres (72 miles) east of the capital Colombo , is popular with tourists as well as Buddhist pilgrims. Buddhist Sinhalese account for about 70 percent and ethnic Tamils, most of whom are Hindus, about 13 percent.

The army's onslaught in eastern Ghouta, backed by air and artillery strikes, has killed about 1,160 people since February 18, a war monitor said, as Assad seeks to crush the last big rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus.

France's President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said his country was prepared to launch targeted strikes against sites in Syria used to deploy chemical attacks on civilians.

The assault on Eastern Ghouta has been one of the most ferocious of Syria's civil war, which a monitoring group said Monday had now left more than 350,000 dead in seven years. But the United States directly accused Russian Federation of killing civilians.

The UN estimates 400,000 civilians are trapped in the siege.

Parallel offensives waged by Turkey and the Syrian government on two separate towns in Syria yesterday pushed residents into overcrowded shelters for safety as others tried to flee the advancing forces by road.

"We have drafted a new ceasefire resolution that provides no room for evasion", USA ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in reference to Syrian army's operation against the terrorists in East Ghouta that keep launching attacks on Damascus despite the ongoing ceasefire.

"The pattern in the Gulf is one of deep concern for the U.S.", Cordesman said.

The July 7 truce - the first USA peacekeeping effort of the war under President Donald Trump - was expanded last November in the southwestern triangle bordering Israel and Jordan.

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