Russia, Syria and Iran strongly warned the United States Friday against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international investigation of the chemical weapons attack there that killed nearly 90 people.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Moscow, denounced the US missile strikes on Syria as a “flagrant violation” of international law. Additional such actions would entail “grave consequences not only for regional but global security,” Lavrov said.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the meeting sent a “strong message” to Washington. Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants agreed that unilateral actions by the US were unacceptable.
The US accuses the Syrian government of deliberately launching the deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. Russia has alleged that the victims were killed by toxic agents from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian war planes.
Moscow has warned against putting the blame on Damascus until an independent inquiry is conducted and vetoed a proposed UN resolution on the attack, saying it failed to mention the need to inspect the affected area.
Lavrov on Friday expressed skepticism about a preliminary investigation conducted by the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog. He alleged that its experts failed to visit the site and said it was unclear to Russia where evidence was taken and how it was
In Russia’s view, the probe conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be widened to include experts from many nations, he said.
“If our US colleagues and some European nations believe that their version is right, they have no reason to fear the creation of such an independent group,” Lavrov added. “The investigation into this high-profile incident must be transparent and leave no doubt that someone is trying to hide something.”
Lavrov said the US strike on the Syrian base has undermined peace efforts in Syria and reflected Washington’s focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.
On Wednesday, the Syrian Arab Army made the staggering claim that a recent U.S.-led airstrike on an ISIS chemical cache has killed “hundreds,” including large numbers of civilians. This alleged strike was unrelated to claims made about the chemical weapons attack in Idlib last week.
The Syrian army also added the following statement:
No one denies that ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliated organizations on the ground have access to nerve agents (and routinely use them). However, as CBS notes:
If the claim were true, it would back up Syria and Russia’s assertion that the real reason for the chemical weapons attack in Idlib province at the start of April was due to a targeted strike by the Syrian air force on a rebel-held facility housing chemicals and nerve agents that dispersed these agents into the air, severely affecting neighboring civilians. This is a notion that so-called experts have dismissed quite vehemently. By desperately attempting to demonstrate that such an event is possible and can occur quite regularly, the Syrian Army is hoping to advance their claim that this is what occurred in Idlib over a week ago.
At this stage, the only evidence we have for this claim is the statement from the Syrian Army, which was not accompanied by any intelligence. Not surprisingly, the U.S. has completely denied the Syrian army’s claim. U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian told Reuters that the coalition had not carried out air strikes in the area of Deir al-Zor at the time.
...no one knows what happened in Idlib pending the outcome of an impartial investigation. Yet the Trump administration ordered air strikes on the Syrian government without even waiting for intelligence to confirm who was responsible. Even if the Assad government was responsible, there is no international legal principle that says one country can violate international law to stop another country from violating international law in their own country — unless it is in an act of self-defense.
As the war rages on, we will continue to receive multiple conflicting accounts for every attack that occurs within the country. Considering the Trump administration has officially formed new “red lines” for the Assad government to cross, this entire premise is nothing short of suicidal, especially for the Syrian people.
Anti-Trump protesters have taken to the streets all over the U.S. on Saturday to call for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.
What is not being reported by the mainstream media about this massive march is that most of the organizers and partners are openly funded by George Soros or they have close ties to Soros.
The official website for the Tax March lists the following eight groups as organizers for the event: American Federation of Teachers, Americans for Tax Fairness, Center for Popular Democracy, Indivisible Project, MoveOn.Org, Our Revolution, and The Working Families Party.