Syria's Assad says chemical attack '100 percent fabrication'

Alicia Guzman
April 17, 2017

In both cases, United States policymakers have sought tactics for reducing war crimes, rather than credible strategies for ending the war.

Moreover, not one of the Guardian's "opinion formers" bothered to note that the defeated Democrat presidential candidate they all champion, Hillary Clinton, speaking to the New York Times prior to the April 6 bombing, stated, "And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop Sarin gas on them".

Attempts by these two US administrations to wipe the slate clean with the Kremlin have fallen flat for one fundamental reason: Resetting relations with a country and a government that hold views so antithetical to America's - and that chronically aim to undermine American interests - just isn't going to happen.

A British delegation at the world's chemical weapons watchdog said on Thursday that samples taken from the attack site tested positive for the nerve agent sarin.

Tillerson, visiting Moscow on Wednesday, addressed the issue of the chemical weapons attack but he stopped short of calling it a war crime.

But Mr Assad said it was "not clear whether it happened or not, because how can you verify a video?"

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"You have a lot of fake videos now", he said.

The chemical weapons strike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed 87, including women and children, with many more left wounded. On that, Jonah Goldberg: "I think it is fair to say at this point that the Trump as Putin puppet storyline is officially dead".

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons began an investigation into the chemical attack, but on Thursday, Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have pushed the Syrian government to support the investigation.

"We have not seen a single fact, or even a hint of facts", he said.

"Russia is on the wrong side of this argument but we are willing to work with Russian Federation to bring an end to the conflict in Syria, to bring about a political solution in Syria, but that political solution has to be without Assad". It was the first direct United States military action against Assad's forces since the start of Syria's civil war six years ago and led to a quick downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.

Other world powers have also condemned Assad for the April 4 attack - although Syrian ally Russian Federation continues to maintain there is insufficient evidence Assad carried out the attack. Tomorrow's Russia? We can hope. And the USA said Russian Federation and Iran should both get out of the region.

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The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has begun an investigation into the alleged attack, but Russian Federation on Wednesday blocked a UN Security Council resolution demanding Syria cooperate with the probe.

The Guardian's April 11 editorial criticised Conservative Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for aligning himself too closely with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the G7 summit in Italy regarding Syria and proposed sanctions on Moscow, insisting, "Trump's unpredictability demands European steadiness". Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday he and Tillerson had discussed the USA strike and agreed "such a situation should not be repeated".

"There's growing evidence that this was staged", Lavrov said at a Moscow news conference with his Iranian and Syrian counterparts on Friday.

"The results will not come quickly", Lavrov said.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

The war led to the emergence of the Islamic State jihadist group, which seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014 but has since lost much of its territory.

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