False alarm, not outside attack, sets off Syria air defenses

Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford left and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis right brief members of the media on Syria at the Pentagon

The Syrian government and its Russian backers have strongly rejected allegations of a chemical attack, questioning whether a chemical weapons attack even took place and even claiming that purported evidence of a chemical weapons attack was fabricated.

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

The official said Trump was concerned that immediately imposing more sanctions, on the heels of last weekend's US -led strike against Russian-backed Assad, would interfere with his efforts to negotiate agreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin on combating Islamic extremism, policing the internet and other issues. The head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Uzumcu, told the closed-door meeting his inspectors had failed to gain access to the site so far, the British ambassador to the Netherlands told reporters. The inspectors were due to attempt to visit the Douma site.

"A wider operation to hide the facts of the attack is underway, supported by the Russians", she told lawmakers. "Russia and Syria must cooperate".

Although Israel has at times urged stronger US involvement against Assad and his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements in Syria, it voiced backing for Saturday's air strikes by Western powers.

Sixers Embiid won't play in Game 2 against Heat
According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Embiid passed the NBA's concussion protocol, but remains out. Embiid's presence made the Sixers a better defensive team. "I feel fine", Redick said.

Separately, a commander in the regional military alliance backing the government attributed the malfunction to "a joint electronic attack" by Israel and the United States targeting the Syrian radar system.

Following recent alleged attacks, "we all know, Syria has maintained a secret chemical programme since 2013", French ambassador Philippe Lalliot said.

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Sunday that Western strikes on Syria had failed to achieve anything, including terrorizing the army, helping insurgents or serving the interests of Israel.

"Last night, a false alarm that Syrian air space had been penetrated triggered the blowing of air defence sirens and the firing of several missiles", a military source told state news agency SANA. The mechanism would look at cases where the OPCW fact-finding mission has established chemical weapons were used or likely used. The team arrived in Syria on Saturday. Diplomats said negotiations on the draft resolution would begin on Monday and it was not immediately clear when the United States, France and Britain wanted to put it to a vote.

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