Syrian President Says US Is on the Side of Terrorists

The West has blamed the incident on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Moscow has demanded a proper investigation into the incident under the auspices of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) before accusing Damascus of carrying out the attack.

But Ward insisted it was a deliberate attack that amounted to "a direct affront to the Chemical Weapons Convention and, indeed, a direct affront to human decency, carried out by a State Party" to the OPCW, according to the text of his speech that was posted on the organization's website.

"He (Tillerson) stressed that Russian Federation is in a position to use its influence over the Assad regime to ensure it is never again necessary for the United States to act", Toner added.

The suspected attack on Khan Sheikhun, in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, comes in the seventh year of the country's brutal war, which has killed more than 320,000 people and displaced over half the population.

He added that "this outrage is abetted by Russia's continuing efforts to bury the truth and protect the Syrian regime" from consequences of using chemical weapons. President Vladimir Putin, who had a surprise, two-hour meeting with U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Wednesday, said the encounter had ended in deadlock.

But Assad insisted it was "not clear whether it happened or not, because how can you verify a video?"

"Those dead children. were they dead at all?"

The day after the Trump Administration launched the missile attack into Syria, stock prices jumped for Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Boeing and other major US defense contractors.

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary James Mattis said "there is no doubt" that Assad's regime is responsible for the chemical attack.

The interview comes as the USA military says a misdirected airstrike this week killed 18 allied fighters battling the Islamic State group in northern Syria.

Witnesses said they saw warplanes attack the town but Russian Federation says a rebel depot of chemical munitions was hit.

He suggested that photographs showing children who had died in the attack, which provoked revulsion around the world, were staged.

"UK scientists have analysed samples taken from Khan Sheikhoun".

However, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem denied the government's involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it never used chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country and would never do so.

"It's stage one, the play [they staged] that we saw on social network and TVs, then propaganda and then stage two, the military attack", he said, questioning the authenticity of the video footage. "Iit continues to possess and use chemical weapons".

U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, have said there is "no doubt" of the Syrian government's involvement.

The details of the new understandings were not made public, but Syrian foreign ministry officials were invited by Russian Federation and will hold meetings in Moscow on Thursday, following the meeting between the USA official and Putin.

Mr Assad told the AFP that he would only allow what he called an "impartial" investigation to ensure it would not be used for "politicised purposes".

  • Leroy Wright