Syrian children protest world's inaction after chemical attack in Idlib

Mandy Carr
April 7, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump has condemned the killing of dozens of civilians in northern Syria in an apparent chemical weapons attack by Syria's air force, BBC News reports.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump accused Mr Assad's government of going "beyond a red line" by conducting the attack which he said was an "affront to humanity".

Russian Federation has said the toxic gas was released when Syrian airstrikes hit a rebel arsenal containing chemical weapons.

The results were sent to the UN Security Council on Wednesday. His ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, warned that Washington could take unilateral action if the U.N. failed "in its duty to act collectively".

The minister repeated his government denying line that "the Syrian army forces haven't, and will not use chemical weapons", and the forces are no longer in possession of such weapons.

Russia's in a very hard position over the gas attack, according to Andrey Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a Moscow-based research group set up by the Kremlin.

United Nations on Thursday urged the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Iran to help establish a 72-hour cease-fire in Syria in order to deliver humanitarian aid.

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Russian Federation is Syria's most powerful ally and has provided the military might behind Assad's grip on the country, which plunged into civil war six years ago.

Syrian columnist and researcher Haid Haid said that how the Trump administration would respond to the attack remained anyone's guess. In August of that year, the regime dropped sarin gas on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, leaving what the USA government said was more than 1,000 dead. "What is the US approach?" Aid agencies, including MSF and medics in Turkey, said patients showed clear symptoms of exposure to the nerve agent sarin.

No terrorist or rebel group in Syria is believed to have the capacity to carry out aerial strikes.

The chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun confronts Trump with the same dilemma that former President Barack Obama faced after a previous alleged sarin attack against rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in 2013, one of the most infamous episodes in the six-year conflict. "Once we reach convincing answers we will give our answer", he said.

At least 86 people were killed and hundreds - including people foaming at the mouth - were hospitalised after Tuesday's chemical incident on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group.

"This scientific investigation also confirms that Assad used chemical weapons", Bozdag added, without giving further details.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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