OPCW team analyzing samples from chemical attack

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said a suspected chemical weapons attack was a "fabrication" to justify a USA military strike, as Moscow digs in to defend its ally despite increasing strains with Washington.

Russian Federation said the document pre-judged who was responsible for the suspected gas attack since, despite denials from Damascus, Western powers have already said the Assad government is most likely behind it. "They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack", he said.

Asked if he had ordered the chemical weapons attack, Assad said the Syrian military had no chemical weapons and that it would not use them if it did.

At least 87 people including 31 children died in the suspected attack that the West blames on Syria President Bashar Assad's forces.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to support an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into the chemical weapons attack in Syria last week, Turkish presidential sources say.

"We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhun", he said. "No", Trump said. But, he added, "I see them using gas. we have to do something".

"We gave up our arsenal three years ago", he said. It said that its air strikes hit an arms depot containing toxic gas and blamed the rebels for storing such chemical materials.

"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.

"This is an approach that is incompatible with legal norms", Vladimir Safronkov, Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations said.

"It wasn t only a violation of the laws of war but it was a - we believe, a war crime", Toner said. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", Tillerson told a Moscow news conference. Instead, Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who had met earlier on Wednesday, joined Putin for more than two hours. "I think he had a very successful meeting", Trump said.

The polarised positions were evident too at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, when Russian Federation vetoed a Western-drafted resolution that would have required Syrian cooperation in an investigation into the suspected chemical attack.

The British prime minister has come out in support of her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's efforts to reach an global agreement on the conflict in Syria, the Times reported Friday. The United States, Turkey and other Western states have blamed the Assad regime for the deaths.

  • Leroy Wright