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World

According to Moscow, Damascus bombed a...

Translated Friday 7 April 2017, by Hervé Fuyet

The Russian military said on Wednesday that the Syrian Air Force had bombed the day before a "warehouse" near Khan Cheikhoun where rebels stored "toxic substances" in the aftermath of a "chemical" attack that killed at least 72 civilians.

AFP
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"According to the objective data of the Russian Control of Airspace, Syrian warplanes struck a large terrorist warehouse near Khan Cheikhoun", said the Russian Defense Ministry in a statement. It housed "a workshop, fabricating mines containing toxic substances," the ministry said, without specifying whether the Syrian air force had knowledge of the contents of this warehouse.

"The arsenal of chemical weapons" was intended for use by fighters in Iraq the ministry said, calling his information "entirely reliable and objective." The use of this arsenal "by terrorists has been repeatedly proven by international organizations as well as official authorities" of Iraq. The Russian army thus does not specify whether the Syrian regime was aware of the presence of chemical weapons; the army also especially stressed the responsibility of "terrorists", accusing them of keeping chemical weapons.
At least 72 civilians were killed, including 20 children, whose bodies were seized by convulsions and who were struggling to breathe under their oxygen masks. The air raid took place on Khan Cheikhoun, a rebel and jihadist stronghold located in the North-West of Syria. The Syrian opposition was the first to accuse the "criminal Bashar regime" of having perpetrated the attack with "shells" containing "toxic gas", and called on the UN Security Council to investigate immediately. Washington, London and Paris have also accused Damascus which denies and blames the rebels.

Attack in Syria: Pope denounces "unacceptable bloodshed"

Pope Francis denounced on Wednesday at the Vatican "unacceptable bloodshed" in Syria, where an alleged chemical attack left 72 dead and caused outrage around the world. "We are aghast at the latest events in Syria. I strongly deplore the unacceptable massacre that took place yesterday (Tuesday) in the province of Idlib, that killed dozens of defenseless people, including many children, "said the Pope during his weekly audience. "I pray for the victims and their families, and I appeal to the conscience of all those who have political responsibilities, locally and internationally, to stop this tragedy," he began in a somber tone before thousands of faithful gathered on St. Peter square. "I also encourage the efforts of those who, despite the insecurity and the difficult conditions, are trying to send aid to the inhabitants of this region," he emphasized.

The UN Security Council is to meet urgently in New York on Wednesday to demand a full and prompt investigation into the attack on Tuesday in which at least 72 people, including 20 children and dozens more who were injured in Khan Cheikhoun , a small village in the rebel zone in the northwest of Syria.

Meanwhile, the Argentinian pontiff mourned the victims of "tragic attack" that killed 14 people and wounded 49 on Monday in St. Petersburg, Russia.


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