Russia for international probe into chemical attack in Syria

In an interview with AFP (Agence France-Presse) on April 13, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the suspected chemical attack blamed on his government in Khan Shaykhun was a "100 percent fabrication".

Hours after the military operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for the USA air strike, calling the use of chemical weapons "unacceptable".

At least 87 people, including 31 children, were killed in the alleged attack, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday said a chemical weapons attack in Syria that provoked USA missile strikes on the Middle Eastern country may have been orchestrated.

"We may be at an all-time low in terms of our relationship with Russia", Trump said Wednesday at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation news conference after Tillerson met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "You have a lot of fake videos now". "We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhoun. Were they dead at all?"

Two days later, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles against the Shairat military base in central Syria, from where, as the USA believes, Syrian airplanes carrying chemical weapons took off. "We have never used our chemical arsenal in our history".

Assad urged the global community to launch an inquiry into the alleged Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, but added Damascus would only allow an "impartial" external investigation.

Russian Federation and Syria claim the Khan Shaykhun victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian warplanes.

Russia, Iran and Syria want an independent investigation and those opposed to the call "don't have a clear conscience", he said.

A British delegation at the world's chemical weapons watchdog said on Thursday that samples taken from the attack site tested positive for the nerve agent sarin.

Assad later blasted the United States and its allies: "The United States and the West - they're not serious in fighting the terrorists".

Britain's Ambassador, Sir Geoffrey Adams, told the meeting that United Kingdom scientists have analyzed samples from Khan Shaykhun and they "tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, or a sarin-like substance".

The Syrian government denied the accusation. "If the USA strike has no justification, it is blatant aggression against Syria's sovereignty", the Syrian foreign minister pointed out.

He insisted several times his forces had turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russian Federation to avoid threatened United States military action.

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