US allegations on Syria chemical attack not based on 'objective evidence': Russia
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley holds photographs of victims during a meeting at the United Nations Security Council on Syria at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Photograph: (Reuters)
Russia said today US allegations that Syrian forces carried out a deadly chemical attack are not based on "objective" information.
"Any data that the American side or our colleagues in other countries could have cannot be based on objective materials or evidence," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that the incident in rebel-held Khan Sheikhun was a "monstrous crime."
Meanwhile, the results from Turkish autopsies on the victims of a suspected poison gas attack in north-west Syria will be sent to the Dutch capital of The Hague for an additional examination, Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag said.
The suspected chemical attack believed to have been carried out by Syrian government forces killed at least 72 people in the rebel-held Idlib province on Tuesday. Thirty-two victims have been brought to Turkey and three have subsequently died during treatment.
Syria's armed forces "did not and will not" use chemical weapons, even against jihadist groups, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Thursday.
"I stress to you once again: the Syrian army has not, did not and will not use this kind of weapons -- not just against our own people, but even against the terrorists that attack our civilians with their mortar rounds," he said.
The deaths have sparked international outrage with many pointing the finger at the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but Muallem cast doubt on the evidence.
"The first air raid conducted by the Syrian army was at 11:30 am (0830 GMT) on that day (Tuesday) and it attacked an arms depot belonging to Al-Nusra Front that contained chemical weapons," he said.
Al-Nusra -- now known as Fateh al-Sham Front -- was once al-Qaida's Syria affiliate and is the main jihadist rival of the Islamic State group.
"Al-Nusra Front and ISIS (IS) and other organisations continue to store chemical weapons in urban and residential areas," Muallem added.
The Syrian army denied on Tuesday that it had used chemical weapons against Khan Sheikhun, and Damascus ally Moscow said "toxic substances" may have been released when the army struck a "terrorist warehouse".
Is the US really bothered or is it just trying to attack Russia and its allies? (WION)