Gas attack a 'fabrication' - Syria's Assad

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He added there was no talk Wednesday about a possible Trump-Putin meeting. "At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!"

Still, Trump quickly reverted to a conciliatory tone on Thursday (Friday NZT), hinting that he hasn't abandoned hope for warmer ties.

It is not unreasonable, however, to note that when the Syrian state is destroyed, there will be no institutions for a new government to build on, and that conditions could become even worse than they already are - in Syria and across the region.

The newly hardened view of Moscow comes as the president has tried to shake suspicions about the motives behind his campaign calls for warmer relations. The Trump administration has expressed the potential dangers of directly attacking the Assad regime and rolling the dice on who might end up in power, but as long as the regime remains attacks such as the one on April 5 will contin-ue.

More than 80 people were killed in what the U.S. has described as a nerve gas attack that Assad's forces undoubtedly carried out.

This photo provided Tuesday, April 4, 2017 by the Syrian anti-government activist group Edlib Media Center, shows victims of a suspected chemical attack, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria.

"The Director-General shared with the council the immediate steps taken by technical secretariat experts to analyse the available information and their preliminary assessment that this was a credible allegation", said the United Nations watchdog on chemical weapons.

Beyond Syria, Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election also hovered over what was the first face-to-face encounter between Putin and any Trump administration Cabinet member. On Election Day in the Balkan nation, Serbian and Russian nationalists tried to assassinate the country's prime minister, an attempt that US officials suspect was engineered by Russia's intelligence community.

He added that videos showing children dying from the attack were "propaganda" created to prompt the retaliatory U.S. missile strike days later.

"They admitted only to 1,300 tons, but we knew in reality they had almost double that", Sakat told the Telegraph.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries", Tillerson said after the meeting. We gave up our arsenal a few years ago.

"Every administration tries to improve relations, but there is a very basic fundamental fact: Across the geopolitical chessboard the USA and Russian Federation have fundamentally very different interests", said Harry Kazianis, a senior fellow for defense policy at the Center for the National Interest, a Washington think tank advocating "realistic" foreign policy.

The medic that found himself president in 2000 is a figure of hate and if captured is likely to face charges of war crimes.

The U.S. and Russia have played the proxy war game against each other for decades-think the U.S. Viet Nam and the Russians in Afghanistan-and they have also secretly encouraged attacks on U.S. interests around the world.

He insisted several times that his forces had turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russian Federation to avoid threatened U.S. military action.

Reporters asked whether Tillerson had introduced evidence at Wednesday's meetings of Russian interference in the USA election. "We believe it is of principal importance to prevent risks of a repeat of such steps in the future".

To emphasize the point that Russian/U.S. relations are pretty ugly now Tillerson added "Over the course of the past 2 years, a number of reciprocal actions have been taken to demonstrate the dissatisfaction each country has with the other".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to support an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons into the use of chemical weapons in northern Syria. "Well, the state secretary hasn't threatened to use new sanctions, hasn't threatened us at all", he admitted.

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