The United States has warned Syria's government that it is "locked and loaded" to strike again if Damascus carries out chemical attacks.

The warning came after the United States, along with allies France and Britain, launched air strikes on Syria on April 14 in response to a suspected Syrian chemical attack that killed dozens of people last week.

The United Nations Security Council on April 14 rejected an effort by Russia, a key ally of Syria, to denounce it as an unjustified "aggression" against a sovereign state.

The wave of missile strikes was the most significant attack against President Bashar al-Assad's government by Western powers in seven years of Syria's brutal civil war

There was a heated exchange at the UN Security Council emergency meeting as Moscow looked to secure condemnation of the missile strikes.

Russia's UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, read out a quote from President Vladimir Putin accusing the allies of "cynical disdain" in acting without waiting for the results of a chemical-watchdog investigation into the alleged chemical attack in the former rebel-held town of Douma on April 7.

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