Syria chemical attack: British sample tests 'detect sarin'

Tillerson was expected to challenge Russian Federation to distance itself from Assad and his Iranian backers and to work with Washington's Western and Arab allies to find a political solution to the conflict with Syria under new leadership.

Syria's President Bashar-al Assad is claiming his government does not have chemical weapons and reports of an attack by his forces are "100 percent" fabrication.

Tillerson will fly back to the USA tomorrow but says both are committed to talking about their significant differences.

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".

He added he would only allow an investigation into the attack "when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won't use it for politicised purposes". It sends the right message - and not just to Syria and Russian Federation - and may well deter future chemical attacks.

Both Syria and Russian Federation, a longtime ally of Assad in the nation's ongoing civil war, have denied involvement in the chemical strike and have sought to place blame for the attack on terrorist groups in the region looking to spur us military action against Assad.

"We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhun", he said.

United States relations with Russian Federation "may be at an all-time low" said Donald Trump as he moved ever further away from his campaign promises to establish better ties with Moscow.

"We strongly condemn any use of chemical weapons".

"It would be wonderful, as we were discussing just a little while ago, if North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our country could get along with Russia", Trump said.

Analysis of the samples was carried out by chemical weapons scientists at Porton Down and tested positive for sarin "or a sarin-like substance".

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emerged from a almost two-hour meeting with Putin saying the two countries had reached a "low point" in relations.

Increased concerns among NATO's European states about Russian military activity on its eastern flank fed into a question to Trump about strained ties with Russia. It called on the UN Security Council to launch a proper investigation into the incident. Tillerson conceded the two world powers had "sharp differences" that have obstructed cooperation but voiced optimism that their talks could narrow those differences.

"It was planned and executed by Syrian regime forces we are quite confident of that".

But Mr Tillerson repeated the administration's new belief that "the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end".

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