Russian Federation slams watchdog probe of alleged Syria chemical attack

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During his first interview since the April 6th U.S. missile strikes on Shayrat air base Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told AFP TV that the attack is proof a "deep state" regime is in control of U.S. Foreign policy, and not President Trump.

"Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists", he said. "They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack", Assad said in his first comments since the USA missile strikes in response to the chemical attack. He insisted that his government would never use banned weapons. We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhun. "Were they dead at all?"

"They are Al-Qaeda, they are Al-Nusra Front who shaved their beard, wore white hats and appeared as humanitarian heroes, which is not the case".

He offered no counterevidence to that effect.

He also claimed the story was made up with the USA attack on a Syrian airbase in mind. "We condemn any use of chemical weapons", Muallem said.

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

Assad also claimed that the alleged chemical attacks in Khan Sheikhoun were all a "fabrication" to give the USA military justification for a strike.

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Russian Federation on Wednesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to condemn the chemical attack and demand the Syrian government's cooperation with an worldwide investigation into the incident.

But Mrs May made clear the UK's view that the Syrian regime had been responsible for the atrocity, saying: "As our ambassador to the United Nations made clear yesterday, like the United States, we believe it is highly likely that attack was carried out by the Assad regime". In a Twitter post, the spokesman, Col. John Dorrian of the Air Force, wrote: "Not true!"

A suicide vehicle bomb attack on buses carrying Syrians evacuated from two besieged government-held towns killed 43 people on Saturday, as US-backed fighters advanced in their push towards the IS group's Raqqa stronghold. Lavrov said he expected the OPCW ( Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ) to conduct an extensive probe into the suspected nerve gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, which could produce a report within about three weeks, the British delegation to the commission said Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to support an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons into the use of chemical weapons in northern Syria.

Asked if airstrikes by Syrian troops could have struck a terrorist chemical weapons depot, Assad declined to speculate, saying it was often hard to know the details about targets from aerial pictures. Syria "provided a grossly incomplete declaration to the OPCW of its chemical weapons program".

Even Assad's staunch ally, Russia, accepts that the deaths were caused by chemical weapons.