Pro-Assad official says targeted bases were evacuated on Russian warning

Alexander Zasypkin

The U.K.'s defense ministry said Britain contributed "four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s" to the effort. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, released statements by medics from Douma's hospital who said a group of people toting video cameras entered the hospital, shouting that its patients were struck with chemical weapons and causing panic.

"The situation in Syria is horrific, the use of chemical weapons is something the world has to prevent", Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said on Thursday morning.

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Moscow was laying out "tit for tat" retaliatory measures against Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Macron said any French action would target Syria's chemical weapons abilities. The White House said he would consult further with allies.

Rebels have now been evacuating the town under an agreement involving the Russian military.

President Trump has issued another stern warning to Russian Federation for its alleged role in a suspected chemical attack in Syria over the weekend. "Yesterday we saw American aggression". He didn't elaborate or name the state. Multiple IS terror attacks have targeted France, including one last month.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the remaining rebels in Eastern Ghouta surrendered their heavy weapons to Russian military police and their leader left the enclave for the north. "So the situation is very risky".

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres did not strongly condemn or praise the airstrikes, instead urging "all Member States to show restraint in these unsafe circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people".

French President Emmanuel Macron said France contributed to the US -led Syrian attacks because the "red line declared by France in May 2017 has been crossed".

But British Prime Minister Theresa May cited reports she said indicated the Syrian government used a barrel bomb - large containers packed with fuel, explosives and scraps of metal - to deliver the chemicals.

The Syrian government is ready with its forces put on "high alert" amid the looming threat of a USA military response.

"We warned about this long ago", he said.

US President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the 7 April gas attack, alleged to have killed dozens of people, and lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, Russia has said its experts have found no trace of "chlorine or any other chemical substance used against civilians". A senior Russian military official said on Saturday that Syria's air defences, which mostly consist of systems made in the Soviet Union, had intercepted 71 of the 105 American, British and French missiles.

This comes amid tense U.S. -Russia relations.

The US gave no details of civilian or military casualties, but its military leaders insisted targets had been chosen carefully to minimise civilian casualties, but maximise the message intended for the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

A fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is expected to head to Douma on Saturday. Many waved Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags. Both European allies have pledged a "joint response" to the alleged chemical attack.

Neither the Kremlin nor the Russian government has said if they back the measures, and it was not clear if it would become law in its current form. Russian Federation said it deployed military police in Douma on Thursday after the town was taken over by government forces. Over 13,000 militants and their family members are said to have been evacuated from Douma since April 1.

The capture of Douma from rebels who evacuated this week has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a center of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his seemingly unassailable position in the war.