U.S. and France deny involvement in Syrian missile strikes which killed 14

Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

U.S. and France deny involvement in Syrian missile strikes which killed 14

A missile attack on a Syrian military airport left several dead and wounded, state media said Monday, after the U.S. warned Damascus and its allies over an earlier suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town.

Syrian activists have said that a poison gas attack on Douma, a town held by rebels, have killed over 40 people while the rest are seriously injured. The Israeli planes were met with a barrage of missiles fired by Syria, one of which hit an F-16 jet that had a crew of two.

The Pentagon was suspected to be conducting air strikes in Syria after receiving threats about chemical attacks.

Most of those killed were either Iranians or members of Iran-backed groups, said Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the observatory, which has regularly monitored Syria's seven-year war.

Trump said on Sunday there would be a "big price to pay" after medical aid groups reported dozens of civilians, including many children and women, were killed by poison gas in the besieged rebel-held town of Douma.

The Syrian state denied government forces had launched any chemical attack.

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"At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria", the Pentagon said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Assad's government and its backers, including Russian Federation, "must be held to account" if it is found to have been responsible for the suspected poison gas attack.

AP quoted SANA saying it was "likely to be an American aggression" though US officials told the organization no American military action had been taken.

"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria", he wrote in the first of three tweets.

French armed forces spokesman Colonel Patrik Steiger also denied France carried out the strike, telling the French news agency AFP: "It was not us". The gas attack was blamed on Assad.

Israel's Foreign Ministry had no comment when asked about reports of the airstrikes. Israel hit the base in February, after it said an Iranian drone that violated Israeli airspace took off from it. "Israel and the USA are the only two countries that could have carried this out, and Israel has operated in this area before".

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Russian Federation and Iran have given crucial military and diplomatic backing to Assad's government throughout Syria's seven-year conflict, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. "If it's Russian Federation, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out", Trump said.

US government sources said Washington's assessment of the Saturday attack was that chemical weapons were used.

However Trump laid the blame firmly at the feet of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his chief backers, echoing similar statements from the European Union and Turkey.

The UN Security Council has called an emergency meeting for Monday to discuss the incident amid worldwide outrage over the alleged used of poison gas.

Haley accused Russian Federation of protecting Syria at the United Nations while Moscow's military advisers in Damascus are helping Assad wage a "starve or surrender campaign" against Syrian civilians that includes the use of chemical weapons.

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