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Russia draws scorn after blaming Syrian rebels for chemical deaths

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The White House has condemned what it calls as a “heinous” chemical attack against civilians by Syria’s government. But spokesman Sean Spicer said it was a result of the Obama administration’s “weakness” in addressing the Syrian civil war. (April 4)
AP

Russian assertions that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria claiming more than a dozen children among its victims was actually the result of an airstrike that hit a rebel chemical weapons depot drew derision Wednesday at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

The attack Tuesday killed more than 70 people and left hundreds more suffering from effects of the gas. Images of the tiny victims sparked global outrage for the Syrian government of Bashar Assad.

“Yesterday morning we awoke to pictures of children foaming at the mouth, suffering, being carried in the arms of desperate parents,” U.S. envoy Nikki Haley told the council, adding “We know yesterday’s attack bears all the hallmarks of the Assad regime.”

Haley blasted Russia for supporting Assad, and said the U.S. might be compelled to act if the United Nations fails to take action.

“How many children have to die before Russia cares?” Haley asked.

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The meeting was sought by Britain and France. British envoy Matthew Rycroft dismissed Russian efforts to blame Syrian rebels for the tragedy.

“There is only one air force that has used such weapons in Syria,” Rycroft said. “This doesn’t look like the work of terrorists. This doesn’t look like the work of militants. This carries all the hallmarks of…

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