World Bulletin/News Desk
Allegations that Syrian government forces have used toxic chemicals are false, Russia said on Friday, and accused President Bashar al-Assad's foes of fabricating such claims to provoke foreign military intervention.
"Accusations against government forces of supposed cases of the use of poisonous chemicals continue to be fabricated," the Russian Foreign Ministry said, apparently referring to reports of chlorine gas attacks.
"The latest anti-Syrian chemical hysteria makes one wonder about the true aims of its initiators, who have not stopped their attempts to find a pretext for military intervention in Syria," the ministry said in a statement.
Russia has given Assad crucial support during the civil war in Syria. Moscow backed the Syrian government's denial that it was behind a devastating sarin gas attack last August, but also initiated a deal for Syria to abandon its toxic chemical stockpile in a move that averted potential U.S. air strikes.
The head of the global chemical weapons watchdog overseeing Syria's chemical disarmament, which is supposed to be complete by the end of June, is considering launching a fact-finding mission to investigate reports of chlorine gas attacks there, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
'There is both the frightening brutality of Bashar al-Assad's regime... and there is complicity on the part of Russia and Iran,' Laurent Fabius says
'Given the humanitarian disaster happening before the eyes of the world in and around Aleppo and up to the Turkish border, common action is urgently needed to enable humanitarian access,' German foreign ministry says
European lawmakers were set to assess damage in Gaza from 2014 Israeli military operation
Mostly, Muslim countries everywhere are the main losers of the shift in tastes, sector professionals say, as tourists move to destinations they consider 'safe'
British PM wants WikiLeaks founder to 'come out of that embassy and face the arrest warrant that is against him'
A foreign ministry letter addressed to a top BBC executive said a January report on the political crisis in Poland was 'biased', 'inaccurate' and drew 'unjustified conclusions'
'Increasing our NATO deployments sends a strong message to our enemies that we are ready to respond to any threat, and defend our allies,' UK defense secretary says
Matteo Renzi is keen on changing current 'wrong, bureaucratic approach' within the EU
'I expect defense ministers to agree to enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of our alliance... This will send a clear signal,' NATO chief says
'We need urgently to switch gears on relocation,' EU migration commissioner says
'You (Belgrade) have had more than a year to arrest them,' a judge says
'Without a substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption, it is hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful,' Christine Lagarde says
Laurent Fabius is expected to take up a position as head of France's Constitutional Court
During the rescue operation security forces also kill 31 militants in Borno state
Opposition calls for president to be removed from office over misuse of public funds
Several children have been killed in a suicide attack in Cameroon