Russia says alleged chemical attack in Syria staged by UK

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Western allies, including the United States, the UK, and France, are thought to be preparing for strikes, but Russian Federation, a Syrian ally, has strongly opposed such action.

During a week of tense sabre-rattling, Russian officials periodically warned the USA that a military response may spiral out of control to war.

The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.

"The military operation was necessary and appropriate to preserve the effectiveness of the worldwide ban on the use of chemical weapons and to warn the Syrian regime of further violations", she said in a statement voicing support for the joint US, UK and French action.

The Russia-U.S. military contacts on Syria are not enough to meet the needs of dialogue, and the two countries should use diplomatic methods rather than threats when communicating with each other, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

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A fact-finding mission from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is expected to head to Douma.

Friday: "Today, the Russian defense ministry has other evidence proving the United Kingdom's direct involvement in the organization of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta", Igor Konashenkov, Russia's defense ministry spokesman, said, according to the Russian government news site Tass. Lavrov said Russian experts have already inspected the site of the alleged attack and found no trace of chemical weapons, adding without elaboration that Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication".

The Violations Documentation Centre, which records alleged violations of worldwide law in Syria, said bodies were found with foam at the mouth, discoloured skin and burns to the eyes.

The prospect of Western military action in Syria that could lead to confrontation with Russian Federation hung over the Middle East yesterday but there was no clear sign that a United States-led attack was imminent.

He said: "More bombing, more killing, more war will not save life".

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After a crunch meeting with national security advisors Thursday, the White House said it had not yet decided how to retaliate to last week's suspected chemical attack which the U.S., France and Britain blame on Bashar Assad's regime.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said global relations should not depend on one person's morning mood, in apparent reference to Mr Trump's tweets. A French frigate, UK Royal Navy submarines laden with cruise missiles and the U.S.S Donald Cook, an American destroyer equipped with Tomahawk land attack missiles, have all moved into range of Syria's sun-bleached coast. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Also on Thursday, US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis told a congressional panel: "I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence". "Russia was supposed to guarantee Assad would not use chemical weapons, and Russian Federation did the opposite".

He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus.

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He said the analysis was done at the request of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Moscow warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate.

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