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16 April 2018, 12:18 | Devin Moran
The suspected attack, denied by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, was carried out last week, reportedly killing over 70 people. "The United States and our allies will continue to stand up for truth, accountability, justice, and an end to the use of chemical weapons". Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that a new round of sanctions will target Russian companies that aid Syria's chemical weapons capabilities. "It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian Federation propaganda machine".
The Russian ambassador to the U.S. railed against the US-led coalition campaign against suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities.
Western officials believe chlorine was used in Saturday's attack on Douma, the main city in the longtime rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, where the British government now estimates 75 people were killed.
London put "powerful pressure" on the civil defence organisation, Konashenkov said.
"The White Helmets were told that in a period from April 3 to 6 Jaysh al-Islam militants would conduct a series of massive artillery bombings of Damascus".
The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.
Meanwhile, Russia's Embassy to the United Kingdom tweeted a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, that denied there was any evidence of a chemical attack.
Russian Federation has repeatedly accused rebels of staging or spreading rumours of chemical attacks, but the involvement of Britain is a new claim.
The Associated Press, citing a Russian media outlet, quoted a top Russian official as likening Trump to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
"A fake "chemical weapons massacre" was a last attempt to stage a provocation for the benefit of extremists and their foreign backers", the embassy tweeted.
The United States, France and Britain defended their military action as legal during the Security Council meeting. "The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", said Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.
Russian Federation - a key ally of the Assad government - is calling for an immediate UN Security Council meeting to discuss the "aggressive actions" of the United States and its allies, he said.
There was no word from Putin himself, though Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was in contact with Washington to discuss an atmosphere which he described as alarming. Lavrov noted that Russian and US militaries have a hotline to prevent incidents, adding that it's not clear if it would be sufficient amid mounting tensions.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon briefing that the first allied strike targeted a scientific research center in greater Damascus involved in the development and production of chemical weapons.
Russian Federation and Syria also clashed with the three Western allies over the legality of the airstrikes and responsibility for the Security Council's paralysis. "The footage that was shown was clearly staged", he added, according to Bloomberg.
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