Most rockets in Western attacks on Syria were intercepted: Russian Federation

Shells found at the site of the chemical attack in Douma

"Not one of the cruise missiles released by the USA and its allies entered the zone of responsibility of Russian air defences protecting facilities in Tartus and Hmeimim", the ministry said in a statement carried by the RIA Novosti state news agency, referring to the locations of Russia's naval facility in Tartus and its Hmeimim air base.

More than 100 missiles were fired from ships and manned aircraft, and the allies struck three of Syria's main chemical weapons facilities, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said.

Chemical weapons experts for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Syria to investigate the suspected poison gas attack.

USA officials suspect the Russia-backed Assad regime is behind the attack. The medics said none of the patients were hurt by chemicals.

"Russia severely condemns the attack on Syria where Russian military are helping the lawful government in the fight with terrorism", the Kremlin said in a statement, its first reaction to the strikes.

She added: "It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian Federation propaganda machine".

The capture of Douma has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a centre of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his unassailable position in the war.

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President Trump "has not yet made a decision about possible actions in Syria", Haley said.

While Trump himself was silent on Syria on Friday, giving no further clues on whether American military action is imminent, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington estimated that Assad's forces had used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-old Syrian conflict.

"We continue to observe risky military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council.

In Geneva, U.N. war crimes investigators condemned on Friday the suspected use of chemical weapons in Douma and called for evidence to be preserved with a view to future prosecutions.

Since 2015 France has carried out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria as part of allied forces linked to the US -led coalition, conducting about 5 percent of total coalition air missions.

What is less clear is whether sarin - the agent used in the chemical attack last April that prompted USA missile strikes - or a similar agent was also used.

Russian Federation has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and has helped turn the tide of war in his favor since entering the conflict in September 2015.

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