Syria's Assad claims USA 'fabricated' chemical attack, despite consensus

Cheryl Sanders
April 16, 2017

Meanwhile, Tillerson said that he and Lavrov discussed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at length and that he made clear that the Trump administration has come around to the view that the Syrian President can not stay in power.

United Kingdom analysis of samples from the scene has detected sarin or a sarin-like substance. He said working groups would be established to improve US-Russian ties and identify problems.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the statement alongside his Iranian and Syrian counterparts at three-way talks in Moscow.The alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad held a joint press conference roundly condemning the United States actions. It sends the right message - and not just to Syria and Russian Federation - and may well deter future chemical attacks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday: "We can not and will not support attempts to pass without proof a UN Security Council resolution condemning the government 'on the quiet, ' without any inspections". The Kremlin had previously declined to confirm Putin would meet Tillerson, reflecting tensions over the US strike on Syria.

Iran, Russia and Syria deny that the authorities in Damascus were behind the attack, in which more than 80 people were killed and hundreds injured.

He also alleged that last week's chemical weapons attack was a fabrication to justify the USA military strike.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims the United States fabricated last week's chemical weapons attack in Syria - to justify a military strike on one of its airbases.

"Are we going to get involved with Syria?"

He added: "Putin is the leader of Russian Federation".

Striving to salvage ties amid a fierce dispute over Syria, the United States and Russian Federation on Wednesday agreed to work together on an worldwide investigation of a Syrian chemical weapons attack last week that prompted retaliatory American missile strikes.

On Wednesday, Damascus ally Russian Federation vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to condemn the attack and push the Syrian Government to cooperate with investigators.

"That's a butcher. That's a butcher", Trump said of Assad. "No", Trump said. But, he added, "I see them using gas ... we have to do something".

"The reality is that more than 300,000 have died, 11 million people have been displaced or become refugees, tens of thousands have been placed in Syrian prisons and a country has been destroyed", Mr Ayrault said.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council: "We want to work with Russian Federation to advance a political process in Syria".

REX TILLERSON: We do think it's important that Assad's departure is done in an orderly way, an orderly way, so that certain interests and constituencies that he represents feel that they have been represented at the negotiating table for a political solution.

When a reporter asked Tillerson whether war crime charges would be raised against Assad for using chemical weapons, Tillerson did not rule out the possibility.

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