Russia, Syria and Iran warn U.S. against further strikes
Assad said the only evidence of the attack came from "a branch of al-Qaeda" the terror group that operates in the rebel-held region where Sheikhoun is located. CNN also notes that us officials believe there is "no doubt" that Assad was behind the chemical attack.
On April 6, the United States had launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha'irat in response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Idlib province.
The U.S. blamed the Syrian government for launching the attack, but Russian Federation claimed that the victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian warplanes.
The Syrian civil war has been a humanitarian disaster, with millions displaced and the region destabilized, and the USA response to the chemical attack does nothing to solve the underlying problems that led to the use of sarin gas in the first place.
On Tuesday, April 4th, the Syrian Air Force hit the Khan Sheikhoun town in Idlib province with sarin nerve gas, killing at least 87 civilians.
The fact finding mission was sent from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to gather bio-metric samples and interview survivors, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
Kenneth Ward, the USA ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, used a hastily convened meeting of the organization's executive council to launch a withering verbal attack on Assad and his allies in Moscow.
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Moscow vetoed a Western draft United Nations resolution Wednesday, saying it failed to mention the need to inspect the area of the attack.
Assad said more USA attacks "could happen anytime, anywhere, not only in Syria".
"If they are serious in fighting terrorists, we're going to be partners, and I said not only the United States", Assad said.
The U.S. attack became a tension point with Russian Federation this week as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Moscow.
Lavrov said Russia, Iran and Syria have demanded a "thorough, objective and unbiased investigation" under the auspices of the OPCW, insisting it must use "independent experts", including from Moscow.
The report noted that the USA would not release further intelligence, however, "due to the need to protect sources and methods".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, shakes hand with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, after a shared press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif following their talks focused on Syria.
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Russia, Iran and Syria issue warning to US
Meanwhile, Russian administrators argued that the attack came from rebel forces in Syria, not Assad's regime, which the country backs.
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