United States suggests Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence, Moscow denies

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Russia may have tampered with the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria., the US envoy to the global watchdog said Monday, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied allegations of interference.

"We are considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation and a decision will be made in the near future", the White House's Sanders said.

USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Sunday that the U.S. will imminently impose a new rounds of sanctions on Russian Federation.

The proposed sanctions follow USA -led airstrikes against Syria's chemical weapons capability and President Trump's promise that Assad and his allies, namely Moscow, would pay a "big price" for enabling the use of chemical weapons.

Around 75 people, including children, were killed in the Douma assault, United Kingdom officials said, while 500 people were treated in the attack's aftermath with symptoms consistent with chemical weapons exposure, the World Health Organization reported. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said he convinced President Trump not to withdraw USA troops from Syria, reversing Trump's pledge earlier this month that he would withdraw thousands of troops stationed there.

NATO's East Stratcom Task Force reported, "Immediately after the reports of a suspected chemical attack in Syrian Douma appeared, Russian Federation reignited its disinformation campaign on the use of chemical weapons in Syria". "We are concerned they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW FactFinding Mission to conduct an effective investigation", Ward said in comments at a closed-door meeting of the OPCW in The Hague that were later made public. USA officials had earlier said that Trump had pressed for a more aggressive US strike against Syria than his military chiefs had recommended.

"We're not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things", she said.

Six times: "That's how many times Russian Federation vetoed Security Council resolutions to address chemical weapons in Syria", she told the Security Council.

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Haley said Trump is prepared to strike Syria again if that happens, though she declined to say how the United States would respond to the use of conventional weapons.

"We are seeing the ruble devalued about 10 percent over the last several weeks", he says.

Haley also said the response by the Trump administration was "cumulative", taking into account not only the recent chemical weapons attack in Douma, but also other, smaller, attacks.

He said the allies acted without a United Nations mandate because of the "constant stalemate of the Russians" in the Security Council.

Haley has been one of the strongest voices accusing Russian Federation of enabling the Syrian government in its use of chemical weapons in the civil war, which is now in its seventh year.

On Sunday the inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with the met Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian official.

Russia's deputy foreign minister said the delay was due to United States air strikes.

Nikki Haley: "Last night, we obliterated the major research facility that it used to assemble weapons of mass murder".

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