Russia Denies Tampering With Evidence In Syria Chemical Attack

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But on Monday, Lavrov told BBC: "I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tampered with the site".

"We are concerned they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW FactFinding Mission to conduct an effective investigation", Ward said in comments at a closed-door meeting of the OPCW in The Hague that were later made public.

Mr Lavrov also questioned why the United States and its allies carried out air strikes the day before global inspectors were due to arrive at the site.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the team's arrival was hampered by the weekend airstrikes.

"Unfettered access essential. Russia & Syria must cooperate", tweeted the account of the British team with the OPCW, expressing concern that access to Douma was being denied.

Inspectors arrived in Syria on Saturday to determine if chemical weapons were used in the deadly attack that has left up to 70 people dead.

For the near future, the strikes suggest that the White House has no intention of withdrawing 2,000 USA troops now in Syria, as Trump suggested on April 4 that he intends to do.

"Not one of the cruise missiles released by the USA and its allies entered the zone of responsibility of Russian air defences protecting facilities in Tartus and Hmeimim", the ministry said in a statement carried by the RIA Novosti state news agency, referring to the locations of Russia's naval and air bases.

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A joint United Nations-OPCW mission concluded that forces under Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad had used chemical weapons several times in recent years, including in a sarin attack a year ago in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed almost 100 people.

"You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down", Haley said.

The military action is not about intervening in Syria's civil war or changing its government, she said. "But it was the world saying that we've had enough of the use of chemical weapons". The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that following Syrian rebels' withdrawal from the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, stockpiles of chemical agents were found there.

The Russian foreign minister says Russia did not tamper with the site of the chemical attack.

He said: "I'm afraid the Syrian war will go on in its disgusting, miserable way". The Russian vetoes have been one of the main irritants in strained relations between Washington and Moscow, with Western diplomats accusing Russia of trying to protect the Assad government.

"The European Union will continue to consider further restrictive measures against Syria as long as the repression continues", they said in a statement after their talks.

The United States, Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles at three alleged chemical weapons facilities early Saturday, angering Syria's military backer, Moscow, which threatened to retaliate.

"It is long overdue that this council condemns the Syrian government for its reign of chemical terror and demands worldwide accountability for those responsible for these heinous acts", US Ambassador Kenneth Ward said. "It is the only way to prevent the use of chemical weapons in the future". The Western leaders also faced scrutiny at home over their actions. The French Constitution bars presidents from going to parliament and President Emmanuel Macron will therefore not be questioned by lawmakers.

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