Syria's air defenses respond to missile attack over Homs


Now, it is under the control of the Syrian government and Russian military.

Investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be granted access this week to the site of a suspected chemical attack in Syria, Russian officials said.

"The United Nations security service is to visit Douma [Tuesday] to conduct route reconnaissance, and OPCW specialists are expected to reach the city on Wednesday", Kirillov said.

He stopped short of confirming whether the inspectors were able to reach Douma, telling reporters in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday that the United Nations has done "everything possible to make sure that the OPCW experts will be able to get to Douma sooner rather than later".

When the alleged chemical attack took place on 7 April, Douma, in the Eastern Ghouta region, was a final rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus, having endured months of shelling.

What is said to have happened in the Douma attack?

As they spoke, government troops were nearby but out of earshot.

"There was no external attack on Syria", the source added.

He and two other residents accused the rebel Army of Islam of carrying out the attack. The team arrived in Syria on Saturday.

"The South African Government has noted with grave concern the airstrikes conducted by the United Kingdom, the United States and French military in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic", Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said.

Syria and its ally Russia deny any chemical attack took place, and Russian officials have accused Britain of staging a "fake" chemical attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday warned that if the strikes continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in global relations".

Russian Federation has condemned the allied strikes on Sunday but refrained from responding to the attack on its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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He met his national security team later in the day and "no final decision has been made", the White House said in a statement. Any U.S. strike would probably involve the Navy.

Both Russia and the Syrian government have welcomed the OPCW mission. It says Syria's chemical weapons programme has been set back years.

Some European lawmakers expressed criticism at France's action in Syria, raising placards reading "Stop the war in Syria" and "Hands off Syria" during Macron's speech.

Syrian air defenses responded to a missile attack over Homs which targeted Shayrat air base late Monday night, Syrian state television reported, according Reuters.

Asked about reports of the missile attack, an Israeli military spokesman said: "We don't comment on such reports".

The accounts contradict what the Syrian government and Russian Federation have reported: that there was no gas attack in Douma.

"The alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria can not be a justification for military airstrikes in a territory of a sovereign state without the authorisation of the UNSC". Opposition activists have said the troops might have removed any evidence of chemical weapons' use.

It said Syrian air defenses shot down most of the six missiles fired at the base.

It did not elaborate or say who carried out the airstrikes.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said missiles did not hit any of the air bases. Another strike earlier this month in Homs was blamed on Israel.

The U.S. and France say they have evidence that poison gas was used in the April 7 attack in the opposition-held town of Douma, killing dozens of people, and that Syrian President Bashar Assad's military was behind it.

The global team has been in the country since Saturday, but has not been allowed to visit Douma.