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Russia Fires Back At Trump, Calls Syrian Gas Attack Fake News
15 April 2018, 05:41 | Rufus Hill
Basel Termanini, the US-based vice president of SAMS, told Reuters another 35 people, a lot of them women and children, had been killed at a nearby apartment building. The Syrian state denied government forces had launched any chemical attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta region, and Russia, President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally, called the reports bogus.
The Syrian regime has been accused many times of turning chemical weapons on its people during the war.
Sir, - This crime against humanity by the Assad regime in Syria, aided and abetted by Russian Federation and Iran, can not be ignored, and the perpretators involved must be brought to the International Court of Justice to answer for this horrific atrocity. And he warned there would be a "big price" to pay over the deaths in a rebel-held area on the outskirts of Damascus.
Syrian state news said an "official source" denied Syrian authorities were behind the attack.
Iran, another ally, also defended the Syrian regime.
"The evidence points towards yet another chemical attack by the regime", the bloc said in a statement. Last year, he authorized a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base days after a sarin gas attack on civilians. "The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons and calls for an immediate response by the worldwide community".
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Sunday condemned the Syrian regime's continued siege of Douma and the bombings over the past 24 hours, which are "in flagrant violation of global humanitarian law".
"The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable", she said.
At least 70 people, including many women and children, were killed in the rebel-held enclave of Douma in eastern Ghouta on Saturday, according to local rescue workers and medical staff.
The spread of bogus stories about the use of chlorine and other poisonous substances by (Syrian) government forces continues.
Germany condemned on April 9 the use of chemical weapons in Douma and said the circumstances pointed to the regime of Assad being responsible for the attack. "Russia's protection of the Assad regime and failure to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria calls into question its commitment to resolving the overall crisis".
In recent months, Ankara has been working closely with Russian Federation and Iran in a bid to bring an end to the seven-year conflict. Though Trump had last week expressed eagerness to get out of Syria, a White House official said Sunday a military response remains on the table.
The military statement came after President Vladimir Putin warned against speculation and "provocation" over the chemical weapons attack in Douma. It says experts inspected the areas in Douma where chemical agents were allegedly used and found no trace of them.
"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria", Trump wrote on Twitter.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "The horrific deaths and injuries in Douma point to a chemical attack which must be fully investigated by the United Nations and those responsible held to account".
Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert described the reports from Eastern Douma as "disturbing and "horrifying", saying they required an "immediate response by the worldwide community".
Laboratories working for the OPCW compared samples taken by a United Nations mission in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta after the Aug 21, 2013 attack to chemicals handed over by Damascus for destruction in 2014.
"The goal of this speculation... is to cover for the terrorists and the radical opposition who are rejecting a political settlement" to Syria's seven-year war, the Russian foreign ministry said.
Pope Francis on Sunday joined the global censure: "Nothing, nothing can justify the use of such devices of extermination against defenseless people and populations", the pope told thousands of people gathered in St Peter's Square.
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