Putin slams 'unfounded accusations' over Syria chemical weapons 'incident'
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, right, speaks with Ian Phillips, vice president International News Associated Press, during a meeting with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 6, 2017. "This is totally wrong".
"If it is the case that it has been conducted by the Assad regime, it shows the barbarism of that regime and what I would say is all those who are backing that regime, including Russian Federation, need to use their influence to stop Assad from bombarding and dealing with his people in such a horrific way".
It has also prompted an about-face from Trump, who in 2013 urged then-president Barack Obama not to intervene against Assad after a major suspected chemical attack.
Obama's policy against Syria was that should the country use chemical weapons against civilians, the former United States administration would declare it a "crossing of a "red line" where the U.S. would be forced to act in an unspecified but aggressive manner.
The Syrian government maintains it did not use chemical weapons, instead blaming opposition fighters for stockpiling chemicals which were hit in an airstrike on a weapons depot.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Thursday denied government forces dropped chemical weapons on the town, after regime ally Russian Federation said "toxic substances" may have been released when a "terrorist warehouse" was struck.
At least 27 children were killed in the attack in Syria this week, and more than 500 people wounded in a toll that is expected to rise, UNICEF said Thursday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday voiced support for USA airstrikes against the regime of Assad, whom Turkey has long wanted to see ousted.
"I talked to him this morning", she said, adding that she was in Washington at least once if not twice a week for the president's National Security Council meetings and was also working to keep U.S. senators informed.
"France is still seeking to talk with its partners on the Security Council".
The most recent attack, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, bore telltale signs of nerve agent exposure such as victims convulsing and foaming from the mouth.
"This scientific investigation also confirms that Assad used chemical weapons", Mr Bozdag added, without giving further details.
Later on Thursday, the Turkish Health Ministry issued a statement saying that "according to the results of the first analysis, there were findings suggesting that the patients were exposed to chemical substance (sarin)".
Experts from the World Health Organisation conducted autopsies on the victims in Turkey's Adana city on Wednesday, reported AP.
Sarin is a chemical weapon that is prohibited in war, under several worldwide treaties. "This is an ongoing investigation", it said.
Sens. John McCain of Arizona, who spoke to Trump on Wednesday, and Lindsey Graham of SC said in a statement that Assad "must pay a punitive cost for this horrific attack".
Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association says it's possible Assad maintained a small capability or lied about his chemical weapons program ot the global community.
The minister said al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have been bringing chemical weapons from neighboring Iraq.
He said the world body needs a "green light" to reach 1 million people in hard-to-reach and besieged areas of the war-torn country.
"This attack used a weapon of mass destruction against a civilian population, many would say - me included - that that's a war crime", she says. "We often complain and sneer and say Republicans never want to come on any kind of forum except Fox News or places where they can be asked questions that are soft", Ms Brown said, adding that Haley did not put on any pre-conditions and sat very "graciously" while the audience heckled. "What is the United States approach?"
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