Russia issued a dire warning to the West in the aftermath of joint US, British and French bombardment of Syrian weapon facilities in response to the alleged chemical attack carried out by Bashar al-Assad’s forces earlier this month.
President Vladimir Putin cautioned the actions are stoking the fires of “chaos in international relations” after at least 100 missiles rained on Syria in the Saturday strike.
He said: “If such actions, carried out in violation of the United Nations Charter, are repeated, that would inevitably provoke chaos in international relations.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May has now urged the world to condemn the Russian-backed Syrian regime as she prepares to make a statement in the House of Commons on Monday April 16.
She said: “There have been many instances when we have seen them using those chemical weapons.
“But I believe it should also be a message to others that the international community is not going to stand by and allow chemical weapons to be used with impunity.”
Both Syrian and Russian officials have denied using chemical weapons in the atrocious attacks on Douma on April 7, where are least 75 people were killed – many of which were children.
Here are all the latest updates and news live on the developing Syrian conflict as it happens. All times in BST.
Monday April 16
1pm: Russia denies tampering with evidence of alleged chemical attack in Douma
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vehemently denied allegations of tampering with evidence collected at the location of the suspected chemical attack.
Mr Lavrov said: “I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site.”
The comments follow a meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has also waded into the conflict, saying a team from the OPCW was not granted access to Douma, east of Damascus.
Syria air strike: Russian officials have denied tampering with evidence from Russia
10.20am: European Union Council condemns the use of chemical weapons
The EU Council has officially announced its firm stance against the use of chemical weapons and condemned the reports coming out of Syria.
In a statement made on Monday, the Council said: “The Council reaffirms that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, constitutes a breach of international law and may amount to a war crime or a crime against humanity and that there can be no impunity and those responsible for such acts must be held accountable.
“It underlines that the most recent reports from Syria, which are truly shocking and must be urgently and independently investigated, only serve to reinforce the EU’s shared determination.
“Furthermore, the Council welcomes the upcoming fourth review conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention and expresses its commitment to contributing constructively to its successive outcome.”
9am: Syria war opponents stage protest on the streets of London today
Thousands of protestors will take over the streets of London outside Westminster today for the ‘Stop the Rush to War: Don’t Bomb Syria’ protest around 5pm.
Organised by the Stop the War Coalition, the protest will challenge Prime Minister May over the recent missile strikes on Syrian chemical weapons facilities.
The organisers said: “Theresa May has put RAF bombers on standby to start airstrikes on Syria. The stakes are obviously extremely high, but opinion polls suggest public opinion is firmly against military action.
“Only 22% of respondents in a YouGov poll said they would support airstrikes on Syria. More bombing would prolong the agony of the Syrian people and risk causing a catastrophic war with Russia.
“We will be protesting on Monday when Parliament returns on Parliament Square from 5.30pm. Join us.”
Syria missile strike protests: Thousands will protest military intervention in London today
8am: Theresa May to rally House of Commons for Syria airstrike support
Theresa May will defend the Syrian airstrike in the House of Commons today, arguing the attack on Bashar al Assad’s forces is in “Britain’s best interest”.
The Prime Minister is expected to say: “United Nations Security Council-mandated inspectors have investigated previous attacks and on four occasions decided that the regime was indeed responsible.
“We are confident in our own assessment that the Syrian regime was highly likely responsible for this attack and that its persistent pattern of behaviour meant that it was highly likely to continue using chemical weapons.
“Furthermore, there were clearly attempts to block any proper investigation, as we saw with the Russian veto at the UN earlier in the week.
“And we cannot wait to alleviate further humanitarian suffering caused by chemical weapons attacks.”
Read the full story here: Theresa May DEFENDS airstrikes in Syria following ‘chemical attack’
7.40am: Jeremy Corbyn condemns Syrian airstrikes in attack on Prime Minister May
The Labour Party leader has called for the War Powers Act to severely limit the Government’s powers in any further missile strikes on the Syrian regime.
The legislation would require MPs to cast a vote on any further action, limiting Theresa May’s options in the near future.
The brash move follows a shock Survation poll which found only 36 percent of Britons supported the airstrikes in Syria.
Mr Corbyn said: “I think Parliament should have a say in this and I think the Prime Minister could have quite easily done that.
The US coupled with Britain and France unleashed a barrage of missiles on Syrian chemical weapon facilities in the early morning hours of Saturday April 14.
Read the full story here: Corbyn warns Syria airstrikes could be ‘precursor to WIDER military action’