The latest: Sweden proposes a way forward for the UN in Syria

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BEIRUT – The latest on the Syrian conflict (all locals):

8 pm

Sweden has proposed a path for the paralyzed UN Security Council that would include the immediate dispatch of a high-level mission of disarmament to Syria to address outstanding issues on the use of chemical weapons "once and for all".

A Swedish draft resolution, distributed to board members on Thursday and obtained by AP, would also express the board's determination to establish "a new impartial, independent and professional body" to determine the responsibility of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

I would ask Secretary General Antonio Guterres to present proposals to the council within 10 days.

The draft would also support the Council to the Organization for the Chemical Weapons Prohibition investigation mission that the Swedish UN Ambbadador Olof Skoog said was "on the way" to Syria to determine if the chemical weapons were used in the suburb of Douma in Damascus last weekend.

Skoog said he expected the proposal to be addressed at Thursday's closed-door emergency council meeting in Syria.

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7:15 pm

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says that a special investigative mission is on its way to Syria and will start investigating the alleged chemical attack there until Saturday.

The OPCW team will try to find out if and what kind of chemical substances "The Western powers are convinced that a chemical attack was instigated by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Syria and Russia have dispelled such reports" , the Dutch-based organization warned in a statement on Thursday.

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7 pm

Britain's ambbadador to the UN says it will emphasize an emergency meeting of the Security Council that chemical weapons are being used against innocent civilians in Syria, and Russia has not fulfilled its responsibilities to prevent that from happening. "

Karen Pierce told reporters before the closed council session convened by Bolivia, a Russian ally, that the United Kingdom believes in an investigative mission of the Organization for Prohibition of Chemistry Weapons are important in determining whether chemical weapons were used last weekend in the suburb of Douma in Damascus, and if so, what type.

But Pierce said he will also emphasize that "an independent investigation is needed. to establish who is responsible. "[19659002] Russia vetoed a resolution of the Security Council last November to renew the joint UN-OPCW body that was determined the responsibility, and the rival US and Russian resolutions to replace that body were defeated on Tuesday.

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6:30 pm [19659002] Syria's ambbadador to the UN says it will facilitate a visit by international chemical weapons inspectors at "any point they want" in the city where an alleged gas attack occurred. Weekend.

Speaking in New York on Thursday, Bashar Ja-afari said an inspection team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is on its way to Damascus and that visas are being provided.

Ja <afari said any delay or "interruption of their visit" would be as a result of the "political pressure" of the Western countries, which according to Syria have politicized the problem.

Ja <afari> denied that his government had used chemical weapons and said that "terrorists" had access to such weapons.

The attack last weekend in the city of Douma killed more than 40 people, according to Syrian opposition activists and rescuers. The United States and its allies blamed government forces and threatened military actions.

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6:15 pm

The Bolivian ambbadador to the UN, which convened an emergency meeting of the Security Council on the threat of an attack on Syria, said he wants all members to agree that "You should not take unilateral action."

Sacha Llorentty Soliz said that any unilateral action against Syria should be considered "illegal" by all countries.

He told reporters before the closed council on Thursday met that his message to the US government "is that they comply with international law, at least have at the beginning a full investigation of what happened" in the suburb of Douma , in Damascus, where a chemical attack allegedly took place on Saturday night.

After an investigation, he said, the Security Council should be asked to "take any action" in response to the findings.

The United States, Britain and France blame Syria for the suspicion of ttack gas in Douma, while Syria and its close ally Russia deny any attack.

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6 pm

Officials of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office say that the Turkish leader and the Russian Vladimir Putin have discussed the latest developments in Syria and agreed to keep in touch.

Officials said the two leaders held a telephone conversation on Thursday after Erdogan said he would discuss ways to end the "chemical slaughter" in Syria with Putin.

the information under the condition of anonymity in accordance with government regulations.

Erdogan criticized the United States and Russia, accusing them of "trusting in their military might" and of turning Syria into "a virtual struggle".

said that Turkey's traditional ties with the West and the growing ties with Russia and Iran were not an obstacle for Ankara to point out its mistakes.

-Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey [19659002] ___

5 pm

NATO calls on Russia and Iran to ensure that international observers and medical personnel are allowed in the area of ​​the alleged chemical attack In Syria.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that in addition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, the alliance also wants supporters from Syria, Iran and Russia to make it possible, both to allow international observers and to allow access of medical badistance to the area.

Stoltenberg said consultations were ongoing among NATO allies on how to respond to the alleged chemical attack, and said "it is important that those responsible respond."

Syrian opposition activists and doctors say an alleged gas attack killed more than 40 people last week in Douma, a city outside the capital that was then controlled by Syrian rebels. The Syrian government has denied the accusations.

The Russian army says that the government forces now have full control of Douma.

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4:50 pm

Russia has warned the US UU And its allies against taking over The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, said on Thursday that Western leaders have no authority to be "investigators, prosecutors and executioners."

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Western leaders have no authority to be "investigators, prosecutors and executioners." [19659002] Opposition Syrian activists and doctors say an alleged gas attack last week killed more than 40 people in Douma, a city outside the capital that was then controlled by Syrian rebels. The Syrian government has denied the accusations.

Zakharova described the accusations as false, but said that the international chemical weapons control body should investigate them. He said that Russia would guarantee the safety of the monitors.

Zakharova called for the scale of the situation to be reduced, urging the West to carefully weigh the consequences before taking any action.

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3:40 pm

Iran's Supreme Leader's aide says he expects Syrian forces to "expel the US occupiers" in the north-east of the country after they return to other areas of the insurgent country .

Ali Akbar Velayati, speaking in the Syrian capital on Thursday, said he visited eastern Ghouta a day earlier, calling the capture of the suburbs of Damascus one of the most important victories of the seven-year civil war.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has sent thousands of troops and allied militiamen to support his forces.

Velayati said he expected the northern province of Idlib, which is dominated by al-Qaeda militants, to be the next to fall to government forces. He said Assad's attackers should push east of the Euphrates River, where American troops are embedded with Kurdish forces.

He said: "We are hopeful that important and far-reaching measures will then be taken to free this area and expel the US occupiers."

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3:05 pm

President Emmanuel Macron says that France has evidence that the Syrian government launched gaseous chlorine attacks.

Macron said on Thursday that France would not tolerate "regimes that believe that everything is allowed." "Speaking on TF1 television, Macron said that" we have evidence that chemical weapons, at least chlorine, were used "in recent days by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

He did not say whether France is planning military action against him. Assad's government Macron said that this week he has been talking regularly with US President Donald Trump about the most effective response.

With growing concern over a power war between Russia and the United States in Syria, Macron insisted that "France it will not allow an escalation or something that could damage the stability of the region. "On Tuesday, Macron said any French action would target Syria's chemical weapons capabilities.

Syrian opposition activists and doctors say an alleged attack with gas last week in Douma killed more than 40. The Syrian government has denied the accusations.

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3 pm

Chancellor A Ngela Merkel says that Germany will not participate in a possible military action in Syria, but supports the sending of a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.

Merkel stressed the importance of a united position in the face of an alleged chemical weapons attack that the West blames on the forces of President Bashar Assad. He said he spoke on Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Merkel said in Berlin: "Germany will not take part in a possible military action, I want to make it clear once again that there are no decisions, but we see, and we support this, that everything is being done to send a signal that this use of chemical weapons is not acceptable. "

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2:45 pm

Russia has warned the US UU and its allies against any step that could destabilize the situation in Syria.

When asked to comment on possible US attacks, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Thursday that "it is necessary to avoid any measure that could fuel tensions in Syria." Dmitry Peskov added that it would have a "totally destructive impact on the Syrian Settlement."

Peskov did not say whether Moscow could use a Russian-American military direct line to prevent the escalation in case of a US attack, saying only that "the line direct exists and has remained active. "

President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday to "prepare" for a missile attack on Syria, but tweeted on Thursday that it may arrive "very soon or not so soon"

The United States and its allies have threatened with responding militarily to a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend.

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2: 30 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will discuss ways to end the "chemical slaughter" in Syria during a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Erdogan said he will speak with Putin later on Thursday, one a day after speaking with President Donald Trump about Syria.

Erdogan's statements seem to criticize an exchange of threats from the United States and Russia, saying that Turkey was "deeply disturbed by some countries that depend on their military might". "

Erdogan says that Turkey's close ties with Russia and Iran" are not an alternative "to its traditional ties with the West, adding that Ankara will" fight to the end "against Russia's support for Syria. Assad and against US support for a Kurdish Syrian militia that Ankara has labeled a terrorist group.

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1:45 pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad says Western threats to hit his country later of an alleged chemical attack are based on "lies" and seek to undermine the recent advances of its forces near Damascus.

The United States and its allies threatened military actions after a presumed gas attack by government forces during the weekend Syrian activists and doctors say they killed more than 40 people, the Syrian government has denied the accusations.

Assad said on Thursday that Western countries were at He ended up losing his "bet" against the opposition forces in the eastern suburbs of Ghouta in the capital. Russia, a key ally of Assad, says government forces took full control of the city of Douma, the last rebel group in the region and the scene of Saturday's alleged attack.

Assad says that Western threats endanger international peace and security, and that military action would only contribute to the "further destabilization" of the region.

Assad spoke during a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to the supreme leader of Iran.

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12:20 pm

Kuwait's national airline deciphers its flights to Lebanon in accordance with security warnings from air authorities on a possible attack on the Syria

Kuwait Airways posted the statement overnight, saying that flights to Beirut would be suspended from Thursday until further notice.

A day earlier, European airspace authorities warned aircraft to be careful during the next few days when they fly near Syria due to the possibility of air or missiles. High in the country.

The United States and its allies have threatened to take military action in response to an alleged chemical attack last weekend. Syrian activists and rescuers say that the attack on Douma killed more than 40 people, allegations denied by the government.

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12:15 p. M.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called her Cabinet back from vacation to discuss military issues Action against Syria for alleged attack with chemical weapons.

May said he wants Britain to join the US-led attacks in response to the alleged attack near Damascus. She said that the use of chemical weapons "can not be questioned."

The United States, France and Britain have been consulting on the launch of a military attack, and President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that the missiles will "come".

Great Britain The Ministry of Defense declined to comment on reports that Royal Navy submarines armed with cruise missiles have been dispatched within the reach of Syria.

Lawmakers in the British opposition call for a vote in Parliament on military action. It is not a legal requirement, although it is a convention.

Syrian activists and rescuers say a chemical attack by government forces in a rebel-controlled area near Damascus killed more than 40 people last Saturday, allegations denied by the Syrian government.

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11:50 a.m.

France says it will decide in the next few days whether it will launch a military attack on an alleged chemical attack in Syria.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that President Emmanuel Macron would decide whether to launch an attack on "not respecting the international convention against chemical weapons", which is a "red line" for France.

Talking to journalists in Romania, Le Drian says: "We are very firm … as the President of the Republic said … this situation can not be tolerated".

Asked about the consultation of the United States, which has also threatened military action, Le Drian said that "France is autonomous in taking decisions."

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria over an alleged poisonous gas attack near Damascus that Syrian opposition activists and first aid personnel say killed more than 40 people. Syria has denied carrying out such an attack.

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10 am

The Russian army says that the Syrian government now has full control of the city outside Damascus that was held by the rebels and that it was the Ministry of Defense said the Thursday in a statement that the situation in the city of Douma, east of the Syrian capital, is "normalizing."

More than 13,500 Syrian rebels combatants and their families have left Douma this month under the so-called evacuation agreement between the rebels and the Russian army, a major ally of the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Russian ministry says that 1,500 left the city in the last 24 hours.

There was no confirmation or immediate indication by the Assad government that Syrian troops entered Douma on Thursday.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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