Erdogan: Idlib Chemical Incident Perpetrators 'Must Be Punished'

© REUTERS / asin Bulbul/Presidential PalaceTurkish President Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara
Turkish President Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara - Sputnik International
The president of Turkey said that the perpetrators of the Idlib chemical weapons incident must be punished.

BOCHAROV RUCHEY (Russia), (Sputnik) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that those responsible for the incident in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun must be brought to justice.

"Such a barbaric attack must not go unanswered. Today we came to an agreement with Putin that the perpetrators of the attack must be punished," Erdogan said following his talks with Putin.

Syrian civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, carry a body retrieved from the rubble following reported government airstrike on the Syrian town of Ariha, in the northwestern province of Idlib, on February 27, 2017 - Sputnik International
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On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces claimed that 80 people were killed and 200 injured in a suspected chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, blaming the Syrian government. Damascus vehemently rejected the accusations and said militants and their allies were responsible.

Early April 7, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib, which Washington blames on the Syrian government. Russia described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state.

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Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry reminded the Trump administration that all chemical weapons had been taken out of Syria in mid-2014 with the help of the previous administration of ex-president Barack Obama.

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Sputnik that Western states are blocking attempts to investigate the Idlib chemical incident because in the event of a probe it will be established that the "attack" was a false flag and lie.

The OPCW announced in January 2016 that Syria’s weapons arsenal had been destroyed in accordance with an agreement reached after the 2013 Ghouta attack.

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