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    Russia Prefers 'Trust but Verify' Approach to US Claims of Syria Chemical Use

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    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)
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    Washington has not shared any data proving Damascus' involvement in the Idlib chemical incident with Moscow, the Russian foreign minister said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States has not provided Russia with data proving the Syrian government's responsibility for the April 4 chemical weapons incident in Idlib province, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday, evoking Washington's own "trust but verify" approach.

    "We cannot act on the principle of 'trust me'. We will prefer the principle that… requires to 'trust but verify'," Lavrov said at a press briefing.

    He said Moscow was informed confidentially "that our US colleagues have irrefutable data, almost a list of names of Syrian officials, members of the military who made a decision on the use of chemical weapons."

    "But, naturally, these facts cannot be shared with us for reasons of secrecy, confidentiality," Lavrov said.

    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 Sheikhoun, 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.

    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.

    Topic:
    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)

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    chemical weapons, Sergei Lavrov, United States, Russia
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