Assad: Syria chemical attack '100% fabrication'

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking at a press conference with his counterparts from Iran and Syria, said publications in the United Kingdom and U.S. have highlighted "many inconsistencies" in official versions of events.

These nations stress the seriousness of any additional strikes towards Syria, calling for global attention towards the last week's attack.

Syria's government invited the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to visit the site of the April 4 incident and the airbase that the US later bombed, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The government has officially invited the experts by sending a relevant invitation to the organization in The Hague", Lavrov said after a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Than in Moscow.

"We insist on conducting a meticulous, objective and unbiased investigation into the alleged chemical weapon attack by Syrian aircraft on April 4", Lavrov said at a joint conference after talks with his Iranian and Syrian counterparts, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Walid al-Muallem, respectively.

The attack, believed by investigators in Turkey and elsewhere to have used sarin, killed around 100 civilians and injured some 500 in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhun, Idlib.

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U.S. President Donald Trump ordered cruise-missile strikes on an airbase in Syria last week after his administration accused Russian Federation of trying to cover up Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's role in the chemical-weapons attack.

The U.S. accuses Assad of deliberately launching the attack.

What happened in Khan Sheikhoun is a fabrication and the Syrian air force did not target anyone with chemical weapons. "We call on the USA and its allies to respect Syria's sovereignty and refrain from actions similar to what happened on April 7, and which have serious ramification not only for regional, but also global security". He added, "These attempts will not succeed, this will not happen". Moscow asserts that the Syrian Arab Army bombed a "rebel" warehouse which was storing deadly chemical agents, thereby inadvertently releasing them into the air and contributing to casualties. "Such acts of aggression are obviously meant to derail the peace process, which was endorsed in a unanimously adopted resolution of the U.N. Security Council and implies that the fate of Syria would be decided only by the Syrian people", he said.

Lavrov said the USA missile strike on Syria was Washington seeking "excuses for regime change".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Moscow on Wednesday, discussing the US attack with Putin and Lavrov. More than three months ago, that body received evidence sent by Russian experts about the use of toxic substances by the extremists in the Syrian city of Aleppo, but we never received any results, Lavrov charged.

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