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Russia, Iran, Syria denounce USA 'act of aggression'

Eleena Tovar | 15 Abril, 2017, 08:44

"The Director-General shared with the council the immediate steps taken by technical secretariat experts to analyse the available information and their preliminary assessment that this was a credible allegation", said the United Nations watchdog on chemical weapons.

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has strongly warned the United States against launching new strikes on Syria.

Russian Federation vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Wednesday that demanded that the Syrian government cooperate with an inquiry into the suspected sarin gas attack that killed dozens of people.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the meeting sent a "strong message" to Washington.

"The use of chemical weapons as a pretext for violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state - a member of the United Nations - is a very risky activity", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

White House officials say they drew on reports from aid agencies, video evidence, laboratory analysis of samples from victims and classified intelligence to draw that conclusion. Russian Federation has alleged that the victims were killed when Syrian warplanes hit a rebel chemical arsenal.

Lavrov said the investigation should also be widened to include experts from many nations.

"If our United States colleagues and some European nations believe that their version is right, they have no reason to fear the creation of such an independent group", Mr Lavrov added.

"There's growing evidence that this was staged", Lavrov said, according to Bloomberg News.

Lavrov said Moscow has asked Washington about the objective of the buildup and received assurances that the US troops were deployed there to cut supply lines between the Islamic State group factions in Syria and Iraq.

Lavrov said the US missile strike on Syria was Washington seeking "excuses for regime change".

The three ministers also discussed the beefing up of USA forces on Jordan's border with Syria.

"We will keep monitoring the issue, since the only possible reason for using military force on the territory of Syria is to fight terrorism", Mr Lavrov said.

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, on claims by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that "fake videos" and "propaganda" were being used against his government.

Mr Lavrov was meeting with his counterparts from Syria and Iran in a show of support for Damascus after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Moscow earlier this week.

Mr Putin's military backing of Mr Assad has been crucial in keeping the regime in power after six years of civil war.