Erdogan and Putin back investigation into Syria chemical attack

A Syrian child receives treatment following a suspected chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun a rebel-held town in the northwestern Idlib province

A Syrian child receives treatment following a suspected chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun a rebel-held town in the northwestern Idlib province

And the US said Russian Federation and Iran should both get out of the region.

However, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem denied the government's involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it never used chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country and would never do so.

The suspected attack killed at least 87 people, including many children, and images of the dead and of suffering victims provoked global outrage.

Two days later, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles against the Shairat military base in central Syria, from where, as the U.S. believes, Syrian airplanes carrying chemical weapons took off. He also alleged that last week's chemical weapons attack was a fabrication to justify the USA military strike.

Lavrov on Friday expressed skepticism about a preliminary investigation conducted by the U.N.'s chemical weapons watchdog.

In Russia's view, the probe conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be widened to include experts from many nations, he said.

It was the first direct United States military action against Assad s forces since Syria s civil war began six years ago, and led to a quick downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.

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Russia, Syria and Iran strongly warned the United States Friday against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an worldwide investigation of the chemical weapons attack there that killed almost 90 people.

Syria and Russian Federation have suggested a conventional airstrike by the Syrian army may have hit a depot storing chemical weapons possessed by extremists.

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, on claims by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that "fake videos" and "propaganda" were being used against his government. Lavrov called on the US not to repeat the airstrikes, which he said were part of efforts to oust Assad that won't succeed.

During the conversation, the two leaders highlighted the importance of joint efforts by Ankara and Moscow to continue the work of the Geneva and Astana peace talks.

Putin's military backing of Assad has been crucial in keeping the regime in power after six years of civil war.

The war led to the emergence of the Islamic State jihadist group, which seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014 but has since lost much of its territory.

Daesh is facing twin offensives by Iraqi forces on the city of Mosul and by an Arab-Kurdish alliance on its de facto Syrian capital Raqqa, backed by a US-led coalition that launched air strikes against the extremists in 2014.

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