Chemical arms probe in Syria stalled due to security

Members of the Syrian police hold their weapons as they sit on a back of a truck at the city of Douma Damascus

But "Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma".

London put "powerful pressure" on the civil defence organisation, Konashenkov said.

The Assad regime and its allies have "absorbed" a US -led attack on Saturday and the targeted sites were evacuated days ago thanks to a warning from Russian Federation, a senior official in a regional alliance that backs Assad said.

Russian Federation has repeatedly accused rebels of staging or spreading rumours of chemical attacks, but the involvement of Britain is a new claim.

Friday: "Today, the Russian defense ministry has other evidence proving the United Kingdom's direct involvement in the organization of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta", Igor Konashenkov, Russia's defense ministry spokesman, said, according to the Russian government news site Tass.

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", Antonov said in his statement responding to the US-led military action.

A No 10 statement said: "The Prime Minister said it was a shocking and barbaric act which killed up to 75 people, including children, in the most appalling and inhumane way".

Russian Federation and Syria have stalled access to Douma by worldwide experts seeking to probe an alleged poison gas attack there, citing security concerns.

France said Thursday it has proof that Syrian government forces, which Russian Federation has pledged to protect, conducted the attack.

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma has been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is suspected of carrying out a chemical weapons attack.

They are expected to start their work on Saturday. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

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The Kremlin took no military action in 2017 when the US conducted similar airstrikes on a Syrian airbase... but Russian observers say that could easily change.

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"We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians ... and all military bases were evacuated a few days ago", the official said.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Moscow's United Nations ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

"We hope there will be no point of no return".

Putin added that Russian military experts who inspected Douma found no trace of the attack.

The United States accused Russia on Monday of blocking global inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground.

The U.N. chief told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Friday called by Russian Federation that the highly volatile situation risks "escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications".

Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said he had told both Trump and Putin that increasing tensions in the region was not right.

During a week of tense sabre-rattling, Russian officials periodically warned the United States that a military response may spiral out of control to war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced a strike on Syria launched by the U.S. and its allies as an "act of aggression" that will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

British ambassador Wilson urged the OPCW "to act to hold perpetrators to account", saying failure to do so "will only risk further barbaric use of chemical weapons, in Syria and beyond".

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