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    Trump, Erdogan Agree on Assad's Responsibility for Alleged Chemical Attack

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    The White House said that Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone conversation having agreed that Syrian President Bashar Assad must bear responsibility for the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone conversation having agreed that Syrian President Bashar Assad must bear responsibility for the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib, the White House said in a statement.

    "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to congratulate him on his recent referendum victory and to discuss the United States’ action in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on April 4th.  President Trump thanked President Erdogan for supporting this action by the United States, and the leaders agreed on the importance of holding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable," the statement issued on Monday said.

    The presidents also discussed efforts aimed at combating the Islamic State (Daesh) group as well as other terrorist organizations.

    "President Trump and President Erdogan also discussed the counter-ISIS campaign and the need to cooperate against all groups that use terrorism to achieve their ends," the statement said.

    On April 4, a chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib province claimed the lives of some 80 people and inflicted harm on an additional 200 civilians. The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, as well as a number of Western states, accused the Syrian government troops of carrying out the attack, while Damascus has refuted these allegations, saying that it did not possess chemical weapons.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun by the Syrian air force hit a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq, and called on the UN Security Council to launch a proper investigation into the incident.

    Putin said April 6 that groundless accusations in the chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib were unacceptable before the investigation into the matter had been carried out.

    However, the incident was used as pretext for US missile strike against the Ash Sha’irat airbase carried out late on April 6. Trump characterized the strike as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government troops while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said it was a violation of the international law.

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    Tags:
    Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria, United States
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