Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Chemical weapons experts in Turkey to investigate; United Kingdom confirms sarin use

Chemical weapons experts in Turkey to investigate; United Kingdom confirms sarin use

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the veto left Moscow with "a lot to prove".

Last week's poison gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held province of Idlib near the Turkish border was the most lethal since a sarin attack on August 21, 2013 killed hundreds in a rebel-controlled suburb of the capital Damascus.

"Definitely, 100 percent for us, it's fabrication", Assad told Agence France-Presse in his first comments since a USA missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to the chemical attack.

Ten days after the chemical weapons attack that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out on Idlib, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) sent a team of inspectors to Turkey today (Thursday) in order to collect samples from the chemical attack victims. He said the Syrian people "have suffered six years of ever-escalating barbarity, over six years of failed ceasefires, and over the years, Russian Federation has held us ransom for the Assad regime".

Britain's delegation to the OPCW tweeted from the executive session that the "Fact Finding Mission is working to gather evidence" and has already started testing samples in a lab.

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The United States responded to the gas attack by firing 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian regime air base.

Mr Rycroft was speaking during a UN Security Council meeting to discuss a resolution put forward by the US, UK and France, which, as expected, was vetoed by Russian Federation. The SDF say their goal is to ultimately recapture the city, which has served as the de facto capital the so-called Islamic State.

The SDF, meanwhile, announced the launch of a new phase of its campaign to retake Raqqa.

The SDF says it wants to isolate Raqqa before attacking it. But the countryside south of Raqqa is still under IS control. The Kurdish fighters, with USA -led air and ground support, have surrounded Tabqa, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the city and are working to clear Islamic State militants out of Jalab Valley, north of Raqqa. There was no comment from the SDF.

"This incident is a sign of the coordination between the terrorist groups and the powers supporting them to find pretexts to frame the Syrian army and accuse it of using chemical weapons", the statement said, nearly a week after the opposition accused the Syrian government air force of firing toxic gas on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. Abu Laila who is with Deir Ezzor 24 activist group that has reporters throughout the eastern province that borders Iraq also denied there was such an airstrike.

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