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U.S. gave 2-hour warning before striking Syria — Israeli military officials
21 April 2017, 03:10 | Terri Saunders
Delegates instead backed the probe which is already underway. "All charges against Damascus are unfounded and based on questionable material on social networks", Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control (DNAC) head Mikhail Uliyanov said at a chemical weapons watchdog session.
The suspected attack on the rebel-held town in Idlib province killed at least 87 people, including many children, and images of the dead and of suffering victims provoked global outrage.
There is also evidence that ISIS and other terror groups may have acquired some of these chemical weapons.
But the Russian move had "attempted to undercut" the OPCW's existing fact-finding mission (FFM), the British delegation said in its tweet.
"Needless to say - #OPCW FFM investigation continues" and "the United Kingdom fully supports it", it added.
The team "deserves our full confidence", the Belgian representative to the OPCW told the meeting on Wednesday.
Israel believes that Syrian military commanders ordered the sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun with Assad's knowledge. Gen. Igor Konashenkov issued a statement Thursday questioning how the samples were collected and how the analysis could have been done so quickly. Where, by whom and how were the samples taken?
"If there really was sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, how can the OPCW explain White Helmets charlatans jumping in sarin vapor without protection means?"
The draft decision, due to be voted on by the council later Thursday, also calls for member states to "provide national experts for participation in the investigation".
That would have enabled Moscow to deploy its own experts alongside the OPCW's independent teams in a bid "to discredit the results" so far, one source close to the discussions said.
Israeli defense officials say Syria still has chemical weapons, as much as three tons worth.
The convoy of buses containing 3,000 evacuees, a mix of pro-regime fighters and residents from government-held Foua and Kefraya, was halted near the rebel-held transit point of Rashidin on the outskirts of Aleppo yesterday, due to heightened security measures following Saturday's deadly attack on a previous convoy. It was the eighth time Russian Federation had blocked Security Council action against Syria.
The attack, which has been widely blamed on the Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime, prompted US President Donald Trump to order a cruise missile strike on one of the country's airbases.
The victims in the suicide vehicle bombing last Saturday at a rebel-held transit point included 68 children.
'We have not fought all this war and we have offered so many sacrifices so that in the end the United States decides what it wants in Syria, ' she said; and added that her country will accept no less than independence and unity and territorial integrity.
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Former foreign minister Alistair Burt asked Johnson whether the government felt bound by a previous vote in 2013. At the time, the rebels accused the Syrian government of perpetrating a sarin gas attack in a Damascus suburb.
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