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Russia says too early to accuse Syrian government over gas attack - RIA
April 6, 2017 / 10:05 AM / 8 months ago

Russia says too early to accuse Syrian government over gas attack - RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it was too early to accuse the Syrian government of being responsible for a deadly poison gas attack in Idlib Province and said a proper investigation was needed, the RIA news agency reported.

Men ride a motorbike past a hazard sign at a site hit by an airstrike on Tuesday in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017. The hazard sign reads, "Danger, unexploded ammunition". REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

The ministry also rejected U.S. assertions that the attack, which killed at least 70 people, meant a deal to rid the country of its chemical weapons stockpile had failed, saying that the process had in fact been “quite successful,” RIA reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government of going “beyond a red line” with the attack on civilians and said his attitude toward Syria and Assad had changed, but gave no indication of how he would respond.

Russia has suggested it will publicly stand by Assad however and says the chemical incident was likely caused by a leak from a depot controlled by Syrian rebels.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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