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UK says Russia is responsible by proxy for civilian deaths in Syrian poison gas attack

Monday, April 10th 2017 - 06:48 UTC
Full article 6 comments
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon criticized Russia's support of Assad, describing the chemical attack as a war crime that happened “on their watch”. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon criticized Russia's support of Assad, describing the chemical attack as a war crime that happened “on their watch”.
“By proxy Russia is responsible for every civilian death last week,” wrote Fallon in a piece in the Sunday Times newspaper “By proxy Russia is responsible for every civilian death last week,” wrote Fallon in a piece in the Sunday Times newspaper
Russia criticized a decision by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to cancel a visit to Moscow this month, saying it showed a lack of understanding of events in Syria. Russia criticized a decision by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to cancel a visit to Moscow this month, saying it showed a lack of understanding of events in Syria.

Britain said on Sunday Russia bore responsibility by proxy for civilian deaths in Syria last week caused by a poison gas attack that Washington says was carried out by the Moscow-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. At least 70 people died in what the United States says was a chemical weapons attack in rebel-held Syria.

 The attack prompted the United States to fire 59 cruise missiles into a Syrian air base from which it said the attack was launched. Damascus and Moscow denied Syrian forces were behind the gas attack but Western countries dismissed their explanation that chemicals leaked from a rebel weapons depot after an air strike.

Russia has warned that the U.S. missile strikes could have serious consequences for the region. The missile strikes catapulted Washington into confrontation with Russia, which has advisers on the ground aiding its close ally Assad.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon criticized Russia's support of Assad, describing the chemical attack as a war crime that happened “on their watch”.

“By proxy Russia is responsible for every civilian death last week,” Fallon, whose government voiced support for U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to target the Syrian air base, wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper.

”If Russia wants to be absolved of responsibility for future attacks, (President) Vladimir Putin needs to enforce commitments, dismantle Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal for good and get fully engaged“ with the U.N. peace process on Syria.

On Sunday, Russia's Foreign Ministry criticized a decision by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to cancel a visit to Moscow later this month, saying it showed a lack of understanding of events in Syria. The ministry said it also showed once more that there was little to gain from talking to Britain, which it said had no real influence over world affairs.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that ”Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally. My priority is now to continue contact with the US and others in the run up to the G7 meeting on 10-11 April - to build coordinated international support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process. I will be working to arrange for other like-minded partners to meet and explore next steps soon too.

“I discussed these plans in detail with Secretary Tillerson. He will visit Moscow as planned and, following the G7 meeting, will be able to deliver that clear and coordinated message to the Russians.

”We deplore Russia’s continued defense of the Asad regime even after the chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. We call on Russia to do everything possible to bring about a political settlement in Syria and work with the rest of the international community to ensure that the shocking events of the last week are never repeated”.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Clyde15

    I saw an interview on the BBC where an expert on chemical weapons said that if the chemical store was hit by explosives then they would burn and NOT combine to produce the gas.

    Apr 12th, 2017 - 10:02 am +2
  • DemonTree

    Not that I think Trump's bombing of Syria is anything but bad news, but this guy is a former ambassador, not a chemical weapons expert. Sarin is usually stored as two separate components so bombing a warehouse would be extremely unlikely to produce large amounts of it. The simple explanation that it was dropped by the Syrian Air Force is far more plausible in this case.

    Apr 10th, 2017 - 10:24 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    I don't see why he would, whichever way you look at it. He doesn't work for the government anymore, so he has no special knowledge, and no career to lose either.

    There is really no evidence at all for the theory he's pushing, and lots of evidence against, so why should anyone believe it?

    Apr 12th, 2017 - 07:30 am 0
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