Bashar Assad Tells AFP That Chemical Attack Was Western 'Fabrication'

Tillerson said: "I expressed the view that the current state of U.S. -Russia relations is at a low point".

Syrian president Bashar al Assad has questioned whether last week's alleged chemical weapons attack actually happened, saying there are "a lot of fake videos now".

For Trump, the grievances inherited from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been compounded by Russian-backed Syria's chemical weapons attacks, retaliatory USA missile strikes, election meddling allegations and Ukraine's unsolved crisis.

Yet Assad insisted: "Definitely, 100 percent for us, it's fabrication".

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency says security force have arrested one of the most wanted men involved in "terrorism" and in backing al-Qaida's branch in Syria.

The meeting was called to discuss the April 4 attack on the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun that killed almost 90 people.

Russian Federation said the gas was part of rebel stockpiles, which the rebels have denied.

"You can't just ask Russian Federation to redefine its interests", he said, adding that "Putin doesn't do favors".

"We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhun", he said. "And we suspect that they have help", a USA military official said on April 7.

Moscow has warned against putting the blame on Damascus until an independent inquiry is conducted, and vetoed a proposed United Nations resolution on the attack, saying it failed to mention the need to inspect the affected area.

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He noted that there had already been some positive results for the people of Iraq as the fight against ISIS continued. The eastern half of the city is now completely under the control of Iraqi security forces, Rasool said.

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And Assad said he could "only allow any investigation when it's impartial, when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won't use it for politicized purposes".

"We strongly reject the accusations against us in conniving at the tragic events in Syria and even in complicity in a crime involving the use of chemical weapons".

In the lead up to the government takeover of the rebel-held half of Aleppo last past year, Human Rights Watch reported on the government's "systematic" use of chlorine gas, marking at least eight incidents in which military helicopters dropped the chemical into residential areas.

The prime minister said Johnson had taken a very clear message to the G7 and managed to forge an worldwide consensus on the need for Syria to have a future without President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by the Russian regime.

"The results will not come quickly", Lavrov said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, nicknamed T-Rex, was in Moscow this week roaring with an ultimatum and threats of isolating Russian Federation.

Any additional use of USA military force in an attempt to bring the Syrian conflict to a peaceful resolution should be viewed with serious skepticism before we commit ourselves to another fruitless, decades-long insurgent war in the region.

British scientists and Turkish health officials who carried out post-mortem tests on victims, confirmed this week that a sarin-like substance was used in the attack on Khan Sheikhun. Trump's order last week to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government-controlled air base adds to Moscow's overriding suspicion that Washington is willing to use force to promote regime change, regardless of who is in the White House.

On Wednesday, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding a probe - prompting Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to say Moscow had put itself "on the wrong side of the argument". Russian Federation accused the United States of breaking global law with the attack against the Syrian regime, a key ally that Moscow has supported with air strikes since 2015.

The Kremlin has been anxious to restart relations with Washington that were largely frozen after the annexation of Crimea three years ago, Lucian notes.


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