Russian Federation may have tampered with chemical attack site, U.S. envoy says


But on Monday, Lavrov told BBC: "I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tampered with the site". The Russian military said its chemical experts visited Douma shortly after the alleged attack and found no trace of chemical agents in ground samples.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the team's arrival was hampered by the weekend airstrikes.

OPCW inspectors have been attacked on two previous missions to the sites of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

He said BZ was part of chemical arsenals of the U.S., Britain and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, while the Soviet Union and Russian Federation never developed the agent.

“Not a single one of the cruise missiles entered the zone of Russian air defense systems, ” the Defense Ministry said.

"Announcing the strikes, the White House said it has a large body of reliable intelligence" as well as social media users, non-governmental organizations, and other open-source outlets", which implicate the Syrian government in the alleged Douma attack.

Following the USA -led strikes, however, "we consider it possible to return to examination of this issue not only in regard to Syria but to other countries as well", Rudskoi said.

Given the above issue, United Kingdom pressurized opposition members of Syrian government to set up and stage a chemical attack in Syria, he emphasized.

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The Russians say 71 missiles were shot down by Syrian systems. Yet in actuality, the strikes are more of an indication of Russia's successful ability to cause Western powers to limit their action, and opt for extreme caution in their response to Assad's crimes against humanity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions. United States envoy Ward also condemned the Syrian government for what he called its "reign of chemical terror".

Striking three chemical weapons targets in Syria will not change any of this.

"Russia is able "to annoy" the U.S. by stopping or severely restricting cooperation in outer space, or by cutting supplies of components for Boeing aircraft, [and] close the supply of titanium", said Petr Pushkarev, chief analyst of TeleTrade.

The defense ministry said the Russian forces did not deploy their air defense systems stationed in Syria to intercept the American, British, and French missiles.

"With the political and diplomatic actions that we're taking now, we wanted their friends Iran and Russian Federation to know that we meant business and that they were going to be feeling the pain from this as well", she said.

"But it was the world saying that we have had enough of the use of chemical weapons, the erosion of that taboo that has been in place for 100 years has gone too far under Bashar Assad", he said. And it would establish a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks, call for a cease-fire in Syria, unimpeded access for all humanitarian aid, and an urgent resumption of negotiations on a political settlement.

"The lesson of history is that when the global rules and standards that keep us safe come under threat, we must take a stand and defend them". Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday will respond to their criticism in a debate in parliament on Monday afternoon.