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Syria: NO facts re gas attack as thousands flee

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Re: World Reaction to Syria chemical attack and US bombs

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:11 pm

President Vladimir Putin says Russia will appeal to the United Nations to investigate last week's chemical attack in Syria.


LOGIC AT LAST :ymapplause:

Moscow has dismissed suggestions that the Syrian government that it backs could be behind the attack in Idlib province.

Putin told reporters on Tuesday that Russia would appeal to a U.N. agency in the Hague, urging it to hold an official probe.

Putin also said Russia has received intelligence about planned "provocations" using chemical weapons that would put the blame on the Syrian government.

Russia has defended Bashar Assad's government which has been accused of launching a chemical weapons attack on the Idlib province.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is to meet U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday.



Russia's General Staff says the Syrian government is willing to let international experts to examine its military base for signs of chemical weapons.

The United States on Friday carry out an airstrike on the Shayrat air base which is believed to have been used for last week's chemical weapons attack in the Idlib province.

Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy of the Russian General Staff said in televised remarks on Tuesday that the Syrian government is ready to let international experts to examine the base and that Russia will provide security for them.


Russia's President Vladimir Putin says Washington's accusations against the Syrian government over a chemical attack resemble the claims made before the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.

Putin, speaking Tuesday after talks in Moscow with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, said the U.S. invaded Iraq based on false allegations that it had chemical weapons.

He says the U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian air base following accusations that Syria's government's used chemical weapons that killed dozens of people last week "strongly resembles the developments of 2003."

Putin added that some in the West are using Syria to cast Russia as a "common enemy."

Russia has argued that civilians in Khan Sheikhoun were exposed to toxic agents from a militants' arsenal hit by a Syrian air strike. Putin says militants are preparing more "provocations" to blame Damascus.
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Re: World Reaction to Syria chemical attack and US bombs

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Re: World Reaction to Syria chemical attack and US bombs

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:08 pm

Putin: Idlib 'chemical attack' was false flag, more may come

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday claimed the suspected chemical attack in Idlib’s Khan Sheikhoun town was a false flag incident and that more may come.

Speaking at a press conference Putin said his country had information that an attack could be carried out on a Damascus suburb.

The Russian leader, who has been the Assad government’s strongest supporter said the US would carry out attacks on a southern suburb in Damascus and pin the blame on Assad.

“We have information from various sources that such provocations — and I cannot call them anything else — are being prepared in other regions of Syria, including in the southern suburbs of Damascus, where they intend to plant some substance and blame the official Syrian authorities for its use,” Putin told a briefing.

His claims came following the G7 meeting in Italy where the UK demanded sanctions on Russia and Syria. The proposal was rejected.

https://komnews.org/putin-idlib-chemica ... ign=buffer
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Re: Syria chemical attack: the fact is that there are NO fac

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:04 pm

US says 'low point' of Russia ties cannot continue

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says ties with Russia are at a low point and must improve - there is a low level of trust between our two countries

After two hours of talks with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, he said that the "two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this relationship".

Although there was some "common ground" on Syria, "broad differences" remained.

Mr Lavrov said the two sides needed to overcome "time-bomb issues" inherited from Barack Obama's administration.

Tensions have risen since a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun last week that left 89 people dead.

The US and its allies blamed the Syrian government, and the US fired 59 cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat airbase in response.

Syria denied carrying out the chemical attack and has the support of its main ally, Russia, which on Wednesday vetoed a motion brought to the UN Security Council which would have required Bashar al-Assad's government to co-operate with investigators.

It is the eighth time Moscow has used its veto to protect Syria.

Both Mr Tillerson and Mr Lavrov said the discussions were frank.

Mr Tillerson said: "I expressed the view that the current state of US-Russia relations is at a low point. There is a low level of trust between our two countries."

He added: "We need to attempt to put an end to this steady degradation, which is doing nothing to restore the trust between our two countries or to make progress on the issues of greatest importance to both of us."

It was a view echoed by President Donald Trump later, who said at a press briefing with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: "We may be at an all-time low in terms of our relationship with Russia."

Mr Trump said "it would be a fantastic thing" if the nations improved ties, but warned "it may be just the opposite".

Mr Lavrov said a pragmatic conversation was needed to remove the "irritants that piled up under the Obama administration".

Both ministers said there was agreement on working towards a stable and unified Syria, and in defeating so-called Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

Both agreed to work towards an international investigation of the chemical attack.

But it was obvious there were many differences.

Mr Tillerson said there was clear evidence that the recent chemical attack "was planned, directed and executed by Syrian regime forces".

He said the reign of Bashar al-Assad must end and that Mr Trump's description of the Syrian president as "an animal" was "a characterisation President Assad has brought on himself".

Mr Lavrov said there was no evidence Syria was behind the chemical attack and pointed to the turmoil that had been brought to other nations when leaders had been removed.

There was little concrete to come from the meeting, although the fact Mr Putin granted Mr Tillerson an audience - which had been in doubt - was a measure of success.

Mr Putin did say he was ready to restore the US-Russia air safety agreement over Syria, and Mr Tillerson said there would be working groups set up on smaller issues.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Lavrov said Russia had "a lot of questions regarding very ambiguous and contradictory ideas... coming from Washington".

Afterwards he said "we understand each other better" and there were "many prospects for co-operation with the US".

He said there were "certain time-bomb issues inherited from the previous administration - we know to overcome these obstacles we have to make efforts and that the Americans must move towards us as well".

'Where is the proof?'

Earlier, the US and Russian presidents revealed the wide gulf between them over Syria.

Referring to Mr Assad in a Fox Business Network interview, Mr Trump said: "Frankly, Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person... if Russia didn't go in and back this animal, you wouldn't have a problem right now." He later called Mr Assad a "butcher".

Speaking on Mir television, Mr Putin rejected allegations that Syria was behind the chemical attack, saying Syria had given up its chemical stockpile.

He said: "Where is the proof that Syrian troops used chemical weapons? There isn't any."

Referring to the US air strike, he said: "But there was a violation of international law. That is an obvious fact."

And despite hopes that US-Russia ties would improve under a Trump presidency, Mr Putin said: "One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39573744
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Re: Syria chemical attack: still NO facts as to perpetrator

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:40 pm

Syria chemical attack 'fabricated' - Assad

Syria's President Bashar-al Assad says reports of a chemical attack by his forces were "100% fabrication".

In an exclusive video interview with Agence France-Presse, he said "there was no order to make any attack".

More than 80 people were killed in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April, and hundreds suffered symptoms consistent with a nerve agent.

Witnesses said they saw warplanes attack the town but Russia says a rebel depot of chemical munitions was hit.

Shocking footage showed victims - many of them children - convulsing and foaming at the mouth. Sufferers were taken to hospitals across the border in Turkey.

Mr Assad told the AFP news agency that the Syrian government gave up its arsenal of chemical weapons in 2013, adding "even if we have them, we wouldn't use them".

However, since 2013, there have been continued allegations that chemicals such as chlorine and ammonia have been used against civilians in the ongoing civil war.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using them, blaming rebel groups in some instances.

Mr Assad accused the West of making up events in Khan Sheikhoun so it had an excuse to carry out missile strikes on the government's Shayrat airbase, which took place a few days after the alleged attack.

"It's stage one, the play [they staged] that we saw on social network and TVs, then propaganda and then stage two, the military attack," he said, questioning the authenticity of the video footage.

He also said Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria's north-western Idlib province, had no strategic value and was not currently a battle front. "This story is not convincing by any means," he told the AFP.

Case against Assad's version: By Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence correspondent

President Assad's defence - his flat denial that his country has used chemical weapons and that last week's incident was a fabrication concocted by al-Qaeda and Washington - does not square with the "case for the prosecution".

Indeed it sits uneasily with the Russian version of events which says that a rebel warehouse was hit by a bomb from a Syrian warplane thus releasing the chemical agent.

President Assad's denials must contend with the fact that samples from some of the victims were analysed in Turkey and the results indicated a Sarin-like agent was used.

Then there is the detailed narrative, provided by the Americans who tracked the aircraft they say launched the attack, from its base, to the target location, and then home again.

There are too the many videos that were released immediately after the attack showing the victims. Their timing and location have been verified by independent researchers.

Western allies have said there is compelling evidence that the Syrian government was behind what happened in Khan Sheikhoun.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was behind the attack, saying British scientists had analysed material from the site and it was "very clear" Sarin or a Sarin-like substance was used.

Turkey, which treated many of the wounded, has concluded the same thing.

The US, UK and France reacted angrily on Wednesday after Russia, Syria's key ally, vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council - the eighth time it has done so over the Syrian conflict.

Mr Assad told the AFP that he would only allow what he called an "impartial" investigation to ensure it would not be used for "politicised purposes". But he did not give further details.

The BBC's Sebastian Usher notes the Syrian leader looks greyer and more drawn than in recent interviews.

The US strikes on Shayrat airbase and a reversal of what had been a growing diplomatic acceptance that Mr Assad's removal was no longer a priority may have taken its toll, our correspondent adds.

The US had, until its Shayrat attack, limited its involvement in Syria to removing the so-called Islamic State (IS) from its stronghold in the city of Raqqa.

The Pentagon admitted on Thursday that it accidentally killed 18 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, its ally in the fight against IS, in an airstrike on Monday, just south of the town of Tabqa, some 40km (25 miles) from Raqqa.

More than 300,000 people have lost their lives and millions of people have been displaced since a peaceful uprising against Mr Assad six years ago turned into a full-scale civil war.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39588876
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Re: Syria chemical attack: still NO facts as to perpetrator

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:27 pm

More than 100 Syrian evacuees killed in bus depot blast

A deadly explosion has killed at least 100 people, including children, government supporters and opposition fighters, at an evacuation point outside Aleppo city.

The blast ripped through a bus depot in the al-Rashideen area where thousands of government loyalists evacuated the day before had waited restlessly for hours.

Opposition fighters guarded the area while negotiators bickered over the completion of the transfer deal.

Only metres away, hundreds of evacuees from pro-rebel areas also loitered in a walled-off parking area, guarded by government troops.

Footage from the scene showed bodies, including those of fighters, lying alongside buses, some of which were charred and others gutted from the blast.

Personal belongings could be seen dangling out of the windows. Fires raged from a number of vehicles as rescuers struggled to put them out.

SCD teams were able to recover 100+ dead bodies & attended to 55 injured after a car bomb targeted the displaced exchange point in Rashdien pic.twitter.com/t3dynqSnwB
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) April 15, 2017


The scenes were the last in the unyielding bloodshed Syrians are living through. Earlier this month at least 89 people were killed in a chemical attack as children foaming at the mouth and adults gasping for last breath were also caught on camera.

The bloody mayhem that followed the Saturday attack only deepened the resentment of the transfer, criticised as population engineering. It also reflected the chaos surrounding negotiations between the warring parties.

The United Nations did not oversee the transfer deal of the villages of Foua and Kfraya, besieged by the rebels, and Madaya and Zabadani, encircled by the government.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack but pro-government media and the opposition exchanged accusations, each pointing to foreign interference or conspiracies undermining the deal.

State TV al-Ikhbariya said the attack was the result of a car bomb carrying food aid to be delivered to the evacuees in the rebel-held area – ostensibly crisps for the children – and accused rebel groups of carrying it out.

Ahrar al-Sham, the rebel group that negotiated the deal, denounced the “cowardly” attack, saying a number of opposition fighters as well as government supporters were killed in the attack.

The group said the attack only serves to deflect the attention from government “crimes” and said it was ready to co-operate with an international probe to determine who did it.

Yasser Abdelatif, a media official for Ahrar al-Sham, said about 30 rebel gunmen were killed in the blast. He accused the government or extremist rebel groups of orchestrating the attack to discredit the opposition.

A Facebook page belonging to the pro-government Foua and Kfraya villages said all those in three buses were killed or are still missing while a rebel official said at least 30 opposition fighters who were guarding the evacuees were killed in the blast.

Hours after the explosion, the transfer resumed, as dozens of buses, starting with the wounded, left for their respective destinations. Before midnight Saturday, 100 of some 120 buses from both sides had already arrived.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/art ... laims.html
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Re: Syria chemical attack: still NO facts as to perpetrator

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:42 pm

Mass evacuation in Syria to proceed after deadly blast

More than 3,000 Syrians are expected to be evacuated Sunday from four areas as part of a population transfer that was briefly stalled the day before by a deadly blast that killed scores of people, most of them government supporters.

The United Nations is not overseeing the transfer deal, which involves residents of the pro-government villages of Foua and Kfarya and the opposition-held towns of Madaya and Zabadani. All four have been under siege for years, their fate linked through a series of reciprocal agreements that the U.N. says have hindered aid deliveries.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said 3,000 people will be evacuated from Foua and Kfarya, while 200, the vast majority of them fighters, will be evacuated from Zabadani and Madaya.

Abdurrahman said Saturday's blast -which hit an area where thousands of pro-government evacuees had been waiting for hours - killed 126. He said the dead included 109 people from Foua and Kfarya, among them 68 children and 13 women.

No one has claimed the attack, but both the Islamic State group and the al-Qaida-affiliated Fatah al-Sham Front have targeted civilians in government areas in the past.

After the blast, some 60 buses carrying 2,200 people, including 400 opposition fighters, entered areas held by rebels in the northern province of Aleppo, Abdurrahman said. More than 50 buses and 20 ambulances carrying some 5,000 Foua and Kfarya residents entered the government-held city of Aleppo, Syrian state TV said, with some of them later reaching a shelter in the village of Jibreen to the south.

U.N. relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien said he was "horrified" by the deadly bombing, and that while the U.N. was not involved in the transfer it was ready to "scale up our support to evacuees."

He called on all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and to "facilitate safe and unimpeded access for the U.N. and its partners to bring life-saving help to those in need.”

Residents of Madaya and Zabadani, formerly summer resorts, joined the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad. Both came under government siege in the ensuing civil war. Residents of Foua and Kfraya, besieged by the rebels, have lived under a steady hail of rockets and mortars for years, but were supplied with food and medicine through military airdrops.

Critics say the string of evacuations, which could see some 30,000 people moved across battle lines over the next 60 days, amounts to forced displacement along political and sectarian lines.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/16042017
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Re: Syria: NO facts re gas attack as thousands flee

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:43 pm

Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi security forces arrested a group of Islamic State members who were planning an attack with chemical weapons against troops in western Mosul, an intelligence source was quoted saying Sunday.

Alsumaria News quoted the source saying the group was arrested while government troops were patrolling al-Sihha district in western Mosul. Amounts of “toxic substances” were found within the group’s possession, according to the source. He did not give an exact number of those arrested.

The source accused the group of waging the attacks, documenting them and presenting them as the making of Iraqi forces.

Iraqi commanders had reported occasional attacks with improvised chemical weapons by the Islamic State against security troops and civilians attempting to flee the extremist group’s domains towards security-held locations.

In March, the United Nations said 12 Iraqis were treated from effects of a chemical attack they had sustained in Mosul, but the Iraqi government then said it found no evidence of such an assault. Earlier this month, the United States said it was inspecting a chemical agent used in another attack in Mosul that targeted Iraqi forces.


If ISIS has chemical weapons in Iraq they could well have them in Syria :-?
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