Syria's Assad says Idlib chemical attack 'fabrication' - AFP interview

UK PM May says highly likely Syrian government behind poison gas attack

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reiterated that his government had nothing to do with the chemical gas incident in a rebel-held village last week that killed more than 80 people. Syrian Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, Vicar of Aleppo for Latin-rite Catholics, said that the action taken by the us was reckless, and he claimed that the missile attack opens "new disturbing scenarios for all".

In his AFP interview, Assad accused the West, particularly the United States, of being "hand-in-glove with the terrorists" over the Khan Sheikhoun incident.

No communications intercepts have yet been reviewed to confirm accusations that Russian Federation was complicit in the chemical attack, which was allegedly carried out by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The polarised positions were evident at the UN Security Council Wednesday, when Russian Federation vetoed a Western-drafted resolution that would have required Syrian cooperation in an investigation into the suspected chemical attack.

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We're not going to use it.

Samples taken from the poison gas site in Syria's Idlib governorate tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, the British delegation at the OPCW said on Thursday.

Western powers blame the gas attack, which killed scores of civilians - many of them children - on Assad's forces. Assad however added, "Even if we have them, we wouldn't use them, and we have never used our chemical arsenal in our history". But Russia maintained that a conventional weapons strike by the Assad regime accidentally hit a stockpile of chemical weapons that belonged to rebels or terrorists.

It said Mansour admitted to fighting against Lebanese troops in northern Lebanon in the past and was involved in smuggling weapons to the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in Syria, now known as the Fatah al-Sham Front.

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Matthew Rycroft told the Security Council: "The United Kingdom therefore shares the U.S. assessment that it is highly likely that the regime was responsible for a sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April".

World leaders had called for an global probe into the attack in Khan Sheikhoun last week, which prompted a retaliatory USA missile strike on a Syrian airbase. United Nations weapons inspectors returned "overwhelming and indisputable" evidence of the use of nerve gas, although their mandate did not include assigning blame for the attack. The United States, France and the United Kingdom proposed a draft resolution condemning the attack and claiming it was carried out by the Syrian government forces. "We should be opening our hearts and doors to the most vulnerable, not slamming them shut", he added, referring to Trump's efforts to curtail the USA refugee program.

Before the latest round of Geneva talks, the two sides had taken part in three rounds of negotiations, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey in the Kazakh capital city of Astana.

There's also video and satellite imagery suggesting the attack hit "in the middle of a street", not a storage depot, the NSC report says.

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Then there is the detailed narrative, provided by the Americans who tracked the aircraft they say launched the attack, from its base, to the target location, and then home again.

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