Russia: Syria chemical attack 'fabrication' by foreign power

Journalist Maxim Borodin 32 died in a balcony fall after he reported on Russian mercenaries in Syria

The claim comes after a week in which Russian diplomats and military officers denied the attack happened, blamed the rebels for attacking themselves and accused foreign intelligence operatives.

But Nebenzia said the goal was to oust President Bashar al-Assad from power.

British Prime Minister Theresa May won backing from her senior ministers on Thursday to take unspecified action with the U.S. and France to deter further use of chemical weapons by Syria.

"Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its coverups", she said. "The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue using chemical weapons".

Russia's theories about last Saturday's suspected chemical attack are reminiscent of previous contradictions. He added that the Russian military has proof of British involvement, but didn't immediately present it.

"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".

Russia's Ministry of Defense said it believed the action by the US, UK and France was not in retaliation to the alleged chemical attack in Douma but instead was a reaction to the "success" of the Syrian army in liberating its territory from rebels.

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.

The chemical attack dispute is expected to further harm Russia-U.S. relations after tensions between the two sides have already soared to a new high following mutual expulsions of large numbers of diplomatic personnel.

The Associated Press, citing a Russian media outlet, quoted a top Russian official as likening Trump to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Mr Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow's ambassador to the United Nations, said he "cannot exclude" war between the U.S. and Russian Federation.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Moscow's United Nations ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

"Russia convenes an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss aggressive actions of the USA and its allies", Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin Web site.

Russian Federation has "indisputable" data that the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma was staged by "foreign agents", Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

Lavrov added that the Swiss lab also pointed at the presence of the nerve agent A234 in the samples, but added that the lab noted that its presence in the samples appeared unusual, given the substance's high volatility and the relatively long period between the poisoning and the sample-taking.

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. Syria blames Israel while Russian Federation insists that the chemical attack was staged.

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