Assad dismisses claims he ordered Idlib attack as 'fabrication'

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks at the presidential palace in Damascus Syria

He criticized the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for not sending experts to the site of the attack to investigate. "Well, the state secretary hasn't threatened to use new sanctions, hasn't threatened us at all", he admitted.

However, Sakat says that it isn't "a lot for sarin" and may have been old.

"We will keep monitoring the issue, since the only possible reason for using military force on the territory of Syria is to fight terrorism", Lavrov said. Were they dead at all?

But Assad told AFP that the USA alerted Russian Federation either "a few minutes before the launching" or possibly even sometime between the time the missiles were launched and they struck their target. Ties with Russia, Trump said, "may be at an all-time low".

"Our firepower, our ability to attack the terrorists hasn't been affected by this strike".

It was the first direct U.S. military action against Assad's forces since Syria's civil war began six years ago, and led to a quick downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.

The U.S. "is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin, against its own people", according to a four-page document published by officials in Washington on Tuesday that contained evidence including satellite images, reports from the scene and details of exposure gathered from victims.

Trump gave such criticism short shrift on Wednesday, saying: "I felt we had to do something about it". Thus he avoided attack by the USA and its allies.

"Our leaders met last January, and then you visited us in August 2016 in Sochi, and now we shall have a good opportunity to see how the agreements of those meetings progress", the Russian minister added. "At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!"

Russian Federation contends the chemicals belonged to terrorists.

It was the eighth time Russian Federation has used its veto to block action directed at Damascus.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad an "arch-terrorist" and said Russian Federation still has "time to be on the right side of the argument".

Assad said on Thursday the alleged poison gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun was a "fabrication" to justify a United States military strike.

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 U.S. actions.

"As for the global problems, we are interested in comparing our estimations of the efforts on settlement of the Syrian crisis, where Qatar is playing a big role", he said, adding it is important for Moscow not to slow down the Russian-Qatari contacts for discussing bilateral issues and problems of the Middle East and Northern Africa. The most recent example: Moscow's denial of Syria's atrocity.

Lavrov that Moscow has asked Washington about the objective of the buildup and received assurances they were there to cut supply lines between the Islamic State group factions in Syria and Iraq.

IS is facing twin offensives by Iraqi forces on the city of Mosul and by an Arab-Kurdish alliance on its de facto Syrian capital Raqa, backed by a US-led coalition that launched air strikes against the jihadists in 2014.



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