"The Geneva [peace process] has always been rigged and ineffective. The attacks will hinder Astana because they emboldened Turkey’s dictator, Erdogan," Virginia Senator Richard Black said.
Black, who met with President Bashar Assad during a visit to Syria in April 2016, said he believes that despite the setback, the negotiating parties in Astana will continue to make progress.
The Syrian government denied it has used chemical weapons and said the Jaish al-Islam terrorist group staged the attack to pave the way for foreign intervention in Syria. Moreover, the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria said its representatives visited the place of the alleged attack and questioned local doctors, who said they had not received individuals with symptoms of chemical poisoning.
The Turkish government said it supported the strikes against the targets in Syria despite Ankara’s participation in the Astana peace talks.
Syria has been engulfed in a civil war since 2011, with opposition factions and terrorist groups fighting the Syrian Army and other government forces in order to topple the government of President Bashar Assad. The international community has taken a number of steps aimed at settling the crisis, including organizing peace negotiations in Geneva and Astana.