Lavrov: No chemical attack in Syria

The United States, France and the United Kingdom struck the missile blow on Syria a few days before OPCW experts were going to visit Douma to investigate reports about the chemical attack, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the annual assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy.

The missile strike against Syria's military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by U.S. warplanes and naval ships in cooperation with the British and French air forces on April 14.

According to a statement by the French presidency, Mr Macron called for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria. The Kremlin readout said that Putin warned against rushing to blame the Syrian government before conducting a "thorough and objective probe".

Konashenkov's claim followed an earlier statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that "intelligence agencies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russo-phobic campaign were involved in that fabrication". He didn't elaborate or name the state.

Several NGOs, including the White Helmets, confirmed that chemical weapons were used in the Eastern Ghouta area on April 7.

Western countries are aligning themselves with jihadists in Syria and seeking to dismember the country, Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump threatened to take military action against Syrian authorities over the suspected use of chemical agents in the city.

The White Helmets are not the sole source of information about the Douma attack.

The aggression was launched at a time when the Syrian troops are continuing their successful offensive against terrorist groupings, including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups outlawed in Russian Federation, the ministry pointed out.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has condemned the military action.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Lavrov reiterated a strong warning to the West against military action in Syria.

"I hope no one would dare to launch such an adventure now", he said.

Asked about possible United States strikes on Syria, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria".

Douma and the rest of eastern Ghouta had been a significant rebel stronghold throughout Syria's civil war and its surrender came after years of siege by Assad's troops and a months-long military offensive.

"As for the channels - and they are periodical conversations between presidents and quite regular channels between the military - they are being used", the minister said. He noted that Russian Federation had followed this situation, and the Syrian government was ready to issue visas immediately on the border without any additional formalities. The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in Eastern Ghouta, marked a major victory for Mr Al Assad.

"We are open for those contacts, they help to understand each other better", he said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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