Syria chemical attack 'staged' with help of foreign secret service

Russian envoy to Lebanon We'll return fire for any U.S. launch on Syria

Moscow Says Priority In Syria To Avert US-Russia Conflict

Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow's ambassador to the United Nations, said he "cannot exclude" war between the United States and Russian Federation and urged Washington and its allies to refrain from military action against Syria.

"They agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regimen", a spokesman said, adding that they were still working on an global response. The meeting was called by Russian Federation to address US threatened military action in response to last weekend's attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also on Friday claimed that Moscow had "irrefutable" evidence that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged with the help of a foreign secret service.

At the United Nations meanwhile, diplomats were mulling a draft resolution put forward by Sweden that would dispatch a "high-level disarmament mission" to rid the country of chemical weapons "once and for all".

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", he added.

U.S. officials have refused to rule out direct military engagement with Russian Federation, with the White House saying "all options are on the table".

Western powers are thought to be preparing for strikes but Syria's ally Russian Federation opposes such action, the BBC reported on Friday.

Iran is the key backer alongside Russian Federation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military advisors and "volunteer" ground forces.

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Erdogan also said the current situation showed tensions had eased, but that he would continue his talks with his USA and Russian counterparts. Syria and its main ally Russian Federation deny a chemical attack took place.

Russia's United Nations ambassador warned that US-led strikes could lead to a confrontation between the world's two preeminent nuclear powers.

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma has been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

But relations have instead soured over mounting evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, Russia's alleged poisoning of a former double agent in Britain and Putin's support of Assad's government in Syria. The medics said none of the patients were hurt by chemicals.

The Kremlin said Mr Putin warned against rushing to blame the Syrian government before conducting a "thorough and objective probe".

"All lists will be determined by the government", Zhirinovsky told reporters.

"We hope there will be no point of no return". "We know a chemical weapon was used".

The day before a team from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog was to arrive in Douma, east of Damascus, Mr Lavrov said Russian experts have inspected the site and found no trace of chemical weapons. He didn't elaborate or name the state.

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