Sergey Lavrov could speak on Syria at press conference

US has blood samples verifying chemical attack

A day before a team from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog was due to arrive in Douma, just east of Damascus, Sergey Lavrov said Russian experts have already inspected the site of the alleged attack and found no trace of chemical weapons.

Moscow also said it was calling an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, where it is a permanent member, to discuss the "aggressive actions" of the U.S. and its allies. Lavrov did not offer evidence to back up his claim.

Later on Friday morning, the Russian military clarified that the foreign power Moscow suspects of staging the attack is the United Kingdom.

The minister concluded that the Western countries attacked Syria intentionally ahead of the start of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspector's activities in Douma, trying to obstruct the probe. The top diplomat also pointed out that there was an agreement on sending French experts to the scene of suspected chemical weapons attack in Damascus' suburb, however, "nobody contacted the Russian Defense Ministry since then". "But now I hope no one ventures on such an adventure".

The Kremlin on Saturday (April 14) condemned Western air strikes on Syria, where its armed forces are backing President Bashar al-Assad. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

"As for the channels - and they are periodical conversations between presidents and quite regular channels between the military - they are being used", the minister said.

Lavrov said Russian Federation expects OPCW team to quickly visit the site. He noted that Russian Federation had followed this situation, and the Syrian government was ready to issue visas immediately on the border without any additional formalities.

Russian Federation and the United States are using their channels of communications on Syria, according to the minister. He didn't elaborate or name the state.

The genuine aim behind the US-led attack on Syria was to "allow terrorists to rest, restore their forces and extend bloodshed", the ministry said, referring to the fact that the strike was carried out "at the time when Syrian troops were further taking a successful offensive against Daesh*, al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups".

Anatoly Antonov, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, says the military action threatens Russia - and there will be consequences.



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