Russia: Syria chemical attack 'fabrication' by foreign power

Russian Foreign Minister

Since 2015 France has carried out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria as part of allied forces linked to the US -led coalition, conducting about 5 percent of total coalition air missions.

Haley, who said she would be heading to Washington for meetings later Friday, added that the National Security Council has been cautious and methodical about a decision to retaliate over the attack on the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria, which left at least 49 dead.

"We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged incident and the special services of one state at the forefront of the Russophobic campaign were at play", Lavrov claimed.

What is less clear is whether sarin - the agent used in the chemical attack last April that prompted USA missile strikes - or a similar agent was also used.

As fears of a Russia-West military confrontation mount, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" over the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sergey Lavrov said Russian experts had inspected the site of the alleged attack in Douma, just east of Damascus, and found no trace of chemical weapons.

Konashenkov said Friday that Britain was "directly involved in the provocation", but didn't elaborate or provide evidence.

He "regretted" the Russian veto at the U.N. Security Council which prevented a "united and firm response" after a suspected gas attack last week in Douma, Syria. And they went in ostensibly to try to take out ISIS.

The Syrian and the Russian officials who participated in the preparatory meetings in Damascus have informed the FFM Team that there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place.

"After midnight, 85 buses left eastern Ghouta carrying 4,000 people, both fighters and civilians", the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring organisation said.

The group was the last in the erstwhile besieged Ghouta enclave to resist the exit proposed by Russian Federation but an alleged chemical attack by the regime on April 7 appeared to break their will.

Inspectors from the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) travelled to Syria last week to inspect the site, but have yet to gain access to Douma, which is now under government control after the rebels withdrew.


They are expected to start their work on Saturday. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

Russian Federation has labeled the coordinated strikes on Syria by the U.S., France, and Britain "unacceptable and lawless" - while warning of serious consequences.

The talks at the OPCW's headquarters come two days after a wave of punitive missile strikes in Syria launched by Western powers after the alleged April 7 toxic arms attack on Douma. Will UK back Trump in World War 3?

According to a statement by the French presidency, Macron called for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Moscow's United Nations ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

"We hope there will be no point of no return".

Biological samples from the area of the attack in Syria have tested positive for chlorine and a sarin-like nerve agent, according to a U.S. official who's familiar with the United States analysis of the test results.

US allies have offered strong words of support for Washington but no clear military plans have yet emerged.

Mr Nebenzia also called for the UN Security Council to meet again on Friday to discuss the possibility of Western military action.

United States officials have collated blood and urine samples testing positive for chlorine gas and a nerve agent, according to U.S. network TV station NBC. The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by the rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.

"We put facts contrary to your myths", he said.

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