04/09/2018, 10.50
SYRIA
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Syrian army base hit in Homs. Damascus denies the use of chemical weapons in Douma

An missile attack of unknown origins hit the military airport of Tayfur. At least 14 victims among government soldiers and Iranian militias. Trump against "the animal" Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies. UN meets today on chemical weapons in Syria. The Saudi hereditary prince in Paris to strengthen the economic and military alliance.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A missile attack of unknown origin has hit the Syrian military airport of Tayfur (better known as T4), in the central province of Homs, causing several victims and injured.

The official Sana state agency speaks of "American aggression", which has caused the death of at least 14 fighters, including members of Iranian militias active in the country. The United States has denied any involvement in the military operation, ensuring that its armed forces "do not conduct air raids" in the country.

Israel, a past protagonist of air raids in Syrian territory, remains tight lipped.

The attack on the Syrian base comes a few hours after a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian army against the rebel stronghold of Douma, the last bastion still in the hands of the anti-Assad militia in the Eastern Ghouta.

According to some sources there would have been up to a hundred victims, including women and children; several wounded presented respiratory problems typical of the use of chemical weapons. But there are no independent verifications.

Commenting on the alleged chemical attack yesterday, France and the United States condemned a "horrible" gesture. In a telephone conversation, US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron assured a "strong and joint response" against the government of Damascus (and the Russian and Iranian allies). Bashar al-Assad, they added, must be "prosecuted" for these "continuing violations of human rights".

Previously on Twitter the White House tenant had condemned the attack on "chemical" weapons [in capital letters in the text] in which "women and children" also died. He added that "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for supporting that animal Assad. And they will pay for it dearly ".

The Syrian government and its allies, Moscow and Teheran, responded immediately strongly denying the use of chemical or unconventional weapons. The Russian Foreign Ministry speaks of provocative accusations and "carefully fabricated pretexts" in order to justify "a military intervention" in Syria, where soldiers from Moscow are present "at the precise request of the legitimate government" of Damascus.

Rebels and anti-government groups first reported the attack with chemical weapons posting videos showing the controversial "white helmets" (relief groups close to anti-Assad militias) bringing help to civilians with serious respiratory problems. The images also show numerous corpses on the ground. some of them foaming at the mouth.

Today an urgent UN meeting is scheduled in New York focused on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and, in particular, on the rebel stronghold of Douma. Meanwhile,  Syria and Russia have reached an agreement with the rebel group Jaish al-Islam that controls the enclave on the eastern outskirts of Damascus.

Kremlin sources announce the interruption of military operations: according to the agreement, a hundred buses will transport about 8 thousand fighters and tens of thousands of their families. The hostages so far in the hands of the rebels will be freed.

Meanwhile, the tour of the western capitals [in an anti-Iranian key] of the Saudi leader and hereditary prince Mohammad ben Salman (Mbs) continues.  He has been welcomed with all the honors in France. Analysts and observers carefully follow the ever closer ties not only economic and commercial, but also military between Riyadh and Washington, Paris, London and Berlin. Talks between Macron and Mbs will focus on the serious crises in the Middle East, the stability of the region and the fight against terrorism, including some arms-related contracts. (DS)

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