Russian Federation to insist at OPCW, UN on sending inspectors to Syria

Lavrov said Assad's opponents had "in essence" given guarantees for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to visit the location where at least 87 people died, but the watchdog was refusing to send them.

The U.S. has blamed the Syrian government for launching a deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun that killed over 80 people on April 4, and responded by striking a Syrian air base.

Russia, Iran and Syria want an independent investigation and those opposed to the call "don't have a clear conscience", Lavrov said. "We condemn any use of chemical weapons", Muallem said. Russian Federation contends the chemicals belonged to terrorists.

Assad had agreed to turn in his entire chemical weapons inventory in 2013 when the USA threatened military action after hundreds were killed in a deadly chemical attack on opposition-held suburbs of Damascus.

It was the first direct U.S. military action against Assad's forces since Syria's civil war began six years ago and led to a quick downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.

Other world powers have also condemned Assad for the April 4 attack - although Syrian ally Russian Federation continues to maintain there is insufficient evidence Assad carried out the attack.

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

Moscow has warned against putting the blame on Damascus until an independent inquiry is conducted and vetoed a proposed United Nations resolution on the attack, saying it failed to mention the need to inspect the affected area. The foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, warned that further attacks by the USA will be unacceptable.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also accused the US of trying to incite further violence in the region instead of finding a peaceful solution. Citing the importance of U.S. -Russia talks in Moscow on April 13, the foreign minister stressed that "this is an issue to the concern of all parties".

Sakat said that according to his contacts inside Syria, Assad has not manufactured new weapons since 2014, but "they don't need any more, they have all they need already".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Moscow on Wednesday, discussing the US attack with Putin and Lavrov.

In the interview with AFP Assad also insisted that the US and Syria could still be partners in fighting terrorism, but only if President Trump lived up to his campaign promise to eradicate ISIS. "These three allies are going to pursue a path in Syria, which is anti-American and runs contrary to USA interests in the region", London-based expert on Middle East affairs, Danny Makki, told PressTV in an exclusive iednterview on Friday.

  • Leroy Wright