Russian Federation slams watchdog probe of alleged Syria chemical attack

16 April, 2017, 02:10 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called claims that he used deadly sarin gas on his people a "100 percent fabrication" and insisted the United States worked "hand-in-glove" with terrorists to carry out the attacks, he said in an interview published Thursday. "They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack", added Assad, who has been in power for 17 years. Almost seven-in-ten men (68%) approve of the USA missile strikes in response to the reported use of chemical weapons, compared with 48% of women.

Preparations had been underway Thursday for the evacuation of more than 10,000 residents from two pro-government Shiite villages in northern Syria, Foua and Kfarya, and the rebel-held towns of Madaya and Zabadani, near Damascus.

"You have a lot of fake videos now, and you have the proof that those videos were fake, like the White Helmets, for example", he alleged.

The UK Ministry of Defense and Turkish authorities say they have carried out tests on samples that provide evidence that Sarin or a similar substance was used.

And Trump-who had decried U.S. military intervention overseas throughout his election campaign and had tweeted in all caps to former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013, "Do not attack Syria...if you do, many very bad things will happen"-seemed to turn on a dime, as 59 U.S. cruise missiles landed on Syria's Shayrat air base".

Russian Federation has staunchly backed Assad's government throughout Syria's six-year civil war.

Russia, Syria, and Iran warned the United States on April 14 against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an global probe into a chemical attack there earlier this month. In fact, the foreign ministers from the three countries condemned the violation of worldwide law and the aggression against a sovereign country by the United States when it unilaterally attacked a Syrian base with doubtful arguments.

The U.S. "is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin, against its own people", according to a four-page document published by officials in Washington on Tuesday that contained evidence including satellite images, reports from the scene and details of exposure gathered from victims. "We gave up our arsenal three years ago", he added referring to a deal the USA helped broker.

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A child gets treatment at a hospital after Assad Regime forces attacked with suspected chlorine gas to Khan Shaykhun town of Idlib, Syria on April 4, 2017.

Trump ordered a strike that saw 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles slam into the airbase in central Syria from where Washington accused Assad's forces of launching the attack.

On Wednesday Syria's ally Russian Federation vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to condemn the attack and push the Syrian government to cooperate with investigators.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he expected the OPCW to conduct an extensive probe into the attack, and insisted the organization visit both Khan Sheikhoun and the air base struck by US missiles.

At the G7 meeting of foreign ministers last week, which was held before the UN Security Council vote, Johnson failed to secure sufficient support for new sanctions against Russian Federation.

Democrats are divided over the missile strikes - but a large majority says Trump lacks a clear plan for Syria.

"In the context of Western hysteria, it's essential not to give in to provocations and not to allow anything that might undermine efforts exerted as part of the Astana and Geneva processes", Lavrov said, referring to Syria peace talks.

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