Syria FM confirms airstrike on rebel depot containing chemical weapons

07 April, 2017, 02:59 | Author: Delbert Rhodes

Muallem said the Syrian army had bombed a warehouse belonging to rebels that contained chemical weapons, echoing earlier comments made by Russian Federation, a key ally of the Assad government.

At least 70 people were killed in the attack, which eyewitnesses described as a fog of chemicals which enveloped men, women, and young children, leaving many to suffocate, choke, or foam at the mouth.

Barack Obama drew a "red line" in 2012, when he said he would change his calculus on armed intervention in Syria if Assad used or moved chemical weapons.

"Time and time again, Russian Federation uses the same false narrative to deflect attention from their allies in Damascus", she said.

France said it would continue to push a resolution through the UN Security Council that would force the Syrian government to provide flight logs from the day of the attack. It blamed Tuesday's deadly incident on rebels, saying that the Syrian air force hit an ammunition depot where chemical weapons were stored.

But Russia's Foreign Ministry said the resolution was based on "fake news" and Moscow would veto it.

The Trump administration and others have said the attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun was carried out by government forces, allegations denied by Damascus.

"However, if the approach towards putting more pressure on Damascus prevails, then we won't come to terms in NY", he went on. President Donald Trump said the massacre went "beyond a red line" and had changed his opinion of Assad, while U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned Washington might take unilateral action over the issue.

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"The war where more children die than grown armed men is a very dirty war".

Assad's involvement in the attack, if proven, would have consequences for Russia's relationship with the Syrian president, said Kortunov, the head of the Kremlin-founded research group.

Western states said the Syrian government was responsible for the 2013 attack.

The most likely scenario, though, may be increased confrontation with the U.S. Aid agencies, including MSF and medics in Turkey, said patients showed clear symptoms of exposure to the nerve agent sarin.

"I stress, once again, that the Syrian Arab Army did and will not use such weapons even against the terrorists who are targeting our people", Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told reporters in Damascus.

"We need 72-hour ceasefire in the areas where the battle is now raging", Egeland said.

"This scientific investigation also confirms that Assad used chemical weapons", Mr Bozdag added, without giving further details.

According to United Kingdom -based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 86 people were killed in Tuesday's attack.

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