Assad speaks on chemical attack

Prime Minister Theresa May says she believes it is "highly likely" Mr Assad's forces were behind the deaths, adding that "it is only the regime that has the capability to make such an attack". "Were they dead at all?"

The chemical attack prompted President Trump to order a missile strike at a Syrian military air base last week.

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

Assad insisted his forces had turned over all their chemical weapons stocks years ago and would never use the banned arms.

But Mr Assad said it was "not clear whether it happened or not, because how can you verify a video? They fabricated the whole story to have a pretext for the attack".

The world's chemical weapons watchdog said Thursday that allegations a chemical attack took place in Khan Sheikhun were "credible".

"The secretary explained there were no subsequent targets after the missile strike, but he did not rule out any future action", State Department acting spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the relations between the United States and Russian Federation "may be at an all-time low".

Russian Federation accused the United States of breaking global law with the strike against the Syrian regime, a key ally that Moscow has supported with air strikes since 2015.

Hours after the military operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for the United States air strike, calling the use of chemical weapons "unacceptable".

On Thursday Trump expressed confidence that US-Russia ties would improve.

The US, UK and France reacted angrily on Wednesday after Russia, Syria's key ally, vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council - the eighth time it has done so over the Syrian conflict.

Following the strikes - the first direct intervention the US has made against government targets in Syria - the Pentagon claimed that 20 percent of Assad's airpower had been destroyed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a meeting with visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday to give his views on why US-Russian relations have reached such a low point, a Kremlin spokesperson said.

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

He added he would only allow an investigation into the attack "when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won't use it for politicised purposes".

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.

  • Leroy Wright