Russian Federation dismisses allegations of Syria chemical attack as "fake news"

Michele Moreno
April 10, 2018

US President Donald Trump has vowed to respond "forcefully" to the alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack on civilians in Syria.

Earlier he told his Cabinet at a White House meeting that the us would figure out who was responsible for the attack, whether it was Syria, Russia, Iran or "all of them together".

"The Russian regime, whose hands are all covered in the blood of Syrian children, can not be ashamed by pictures of its victims", Haley said during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Monday.

Russian Federation vetoed a Western-backed resolution in November that would have extended the mandate of the joint UN-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons body that had blamed the Syrian government and the Islamic State extremist group for using chemical weapons.

Trump - who a year ago launched a missile strike on a Syrian air base after sarin was used in the town of Khan Sheikhun - warned after the latest accusations that there would be a "big price to pay".

Trump spoke to France's President Emmanuel Macron for the second time in two days over the alleged attacks, with the pair expressing a "desire for a firm response from the worldwide community to these new violations of the chemical weapons ban", according to the Elysee Palace.

Russia's claim came hours after the Pentagon denied Syrian media reports that the USA conducted the airstrikes in Syria. But that strike didn't stop Assad from expanding control over the country - largely because most of the regime's military might comes from Russian Federation and Iran.

Trump is faced again with the choice of conducting a limited strike that might not even deter Assad from future chemical attacks or a wider response that risks drawing the US deeper into a global conflict.

The Kremlin said Putin discussed the "accusations against Damascus by a number of Western countries" with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and "stressed the unacceptability of provocation and speculation on this matter".

Access to the area, which has faced weeks of regime bombardment, is limited and there has been no way to independently verify the accounts.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it was investigating the allegations but that so far only a "preliminary analysis" had taken place.

Other leaders, including U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, said that Russian Federation and Syria should be held accountable for their actions if found to be responsible.

Moscow meanwhile warned Washington on Sunday of carrying out a "military intervention on fabricated pretexts" in Syria.

It seems very likely that the Trump administration will take some sort of military action against Syria, but just what and when remains unclear.

The meeting was called to bring attention to local, national and worldwide groups already engaged in armed confrontations or at risk of escalating confrontations, said Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy to Syria.

Washington and Paris denied any involvement.

Speaking during a Cabinet meeting, Trump condemned the "heinous attack" Saturday that killed at least 40 people, including children.

Israel has not commented, but a former commander of the Israeli Air Force has said it was nearly certainly Israel that carried out the strike.

During an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Monday.

"We must not overlook Russian Federation and Iran's roles in enabling the Assad regime's murderous destruction", she continued.

Israel has repeatedly warned it will not accept its arch-foe Iran entrenching itself militarily in Syria. In addition, Israel says an Iranian drone that penetrated Israeli airspace in February was launched and controlled from this base.

After targeting Iranian units in Syria in retaliation, an Israel F-16 was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire in one of the conflict's most notable escalations.

Syrian state media, citing a military source, carried a similar report.

Assad regime forces struck targets in Eastern Ghouta's Douma district on Saturday midnight, using a toxic gas which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets.

Other reports by Insurance News

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