Russian President Putin says strike on Syria will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe

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The UN Security Council is now meeting at Russia's request to discuss air strikes launched by the United States, France and Britain on Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Russian Federation and the United States dramatically faced off in a UN Security Council session, hours after US, French and British forces launched missiles at Assad's chemical weapons stockpile.

He said that it is important to establish facts through urgent and transparent investigations by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

He attacked the Assad regime for "deploying chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians", referring to the alleged atrocity in Douma last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Russia's Ministry of Defense said they believed the airstrikes overnight by the US, UK and France were not in retaliation to the alleged chemical attack in Douma, but were instead a response to the "success" of the Syrian army in liberating their territory from global terrorism.

He added: "This will reduce the regime's ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons".

Syrian state TV said the US, UK and France had launched attacks and said anti-aircraft units had responded.

Ahead of the latest strikes, Japanese government sources said Japan would support Trump's "resolve" to prevent the use of chemical weapons instead of expressing support for the airstrikes themselves in order to preserve relations with Russian Federation. "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences", Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said in a statement.

"Today's action by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France is a proper response to the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime". Johnson said: "The world is united in its disgust for any use of chemical weapons, but especially against civilians".

Aboul-Gheit spoke from the city of Dammam in Saudi Arabia, where an Arab League summit is to take place Sunday.

A rebel-held stronghold near the town of Douma was hit with chemical weapons last weekend, killing scores of men, women and children, according to first responders and worldwide observers.

Nato Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg tweeted in support for the strikes, saying those who use chemical weapons "must be held accountable". "They are crimes of a monster instead", Trump said referring to Assad and his role in the chemical weapons attacks.

A former officer in Syria's chemical program said the joint U.S., British, and French strikes hit "parts of but not the heart" of the program.

"We can not tolerate the recurring use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security". He said he believes those fixed storage facilities remain intact or were only slightly moved around.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement on Saturdayaccusing the United States of making "the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria even worse and bring [ing] suffering to civilians" with its strikes.

Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement welcomed the strikes as an appropriate response to the suspected chemical attack.