Russian Federation defends Syria against 'chemical attack' outcry

Britain, France and the United States have circulated a draft Security Council resolution demanding a swift investigation, after pointing the finger at President Bashar al-Assad's government for the attack.

"Today's (Tuesday) chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and can not be ignored by the civilised world", Trump had said in a statement yesterday.

"The United Nations is not now in a position to independently verify these reports" said the UN chief, adding that the chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, had already established a Fact-Finding Mission to confirm if chemical weapons had been used.

Guterres told reporters the U.N.'s Security Council would meet Wednesday and he was "confident" it would "live up to its responsibilities".

He said "the worldwide community must show a serious reaction to the use of chemical weapons by the terrorists in Syria and condemn this move". Russian Federation has used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council at least seven times on Syrian resolutions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier told reporters Russian Federation would argue at the United Nations that the rebels were to blame for the chemical contamination.

"Attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me".

Spicer also said the attack was a outcome of the Obama administration's "weakness and irresolution".

Despite that, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has continued to document the use of toxic chemicals in attacks in Syria.

"As the self-proclaimed guarantors to the cease-fire negotiated in Astana, Russia and Iran also bear great moral responsibility for these deaths", Tillerson said. The U.S. and others blame the Syrian government, the only party to the conflict known to have sarin gas.

But Moscow, which launched a military intervention in 2015 in support of Assad's forces, said the deaths were caused when a Syrian air strike hit a "terrorist warehouse" used for making bombs containing "toxic substances". Those who defend and support him, including Russian Federation and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions.

It said its experts in Turkey were giving guidance to overwhelmed health workers in Idlib on the diagnosis and treatment of patients, and medicines such as Atropine, an antidote for some types of chemical exposure, and steroids for symptomatic treatment had been sent. "Some are hawkish, some others want to think whether we could work with him somehow", another senior European Union diplomat said.

Tuesday's attack happened just 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Turkish border, and the Turkish government - a close ally of Syrian rebels - set up a decontamination center at a border crossing in the province of Hatay, where the victims were initially treated before being moved to hospitals. Konashenkov said the factory produced chemical weapons that were used in Iraq.

President Assad denied the charge, blaming rebel fighters, but he did subsequently agree to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal. "One of the most significant negative consequences of this might be the fact that it might unfortunately bring the end of works on a permanent cease-fire that started in Astana with the opposition indirectly being on the table with the Syrian regime", Kaynak said. He said the U.N.'s silence "legitimizes" the strategy.

  • Leroy Wright