Assad can not be part of Syria solution, says German foreign minister


Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad met overnight with representatives of the global chemical weapons watchdog at a Damascus hotel.

A fact-finding team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Syria on Saturday, the same day the US, UK and France carried out airstrikes against Syrian government targets in response to the April 7 attack in Douma.

Here is the information the Western countries say they have about the suspected Syrian poison gas assault on Douma.

In a conference call with reporters on Saturday, senior USA administration officials said they had a large volume of clear and compelling information, both of chemical weapons use and of President Bashar al-Assad's culpability in the attack.

She and her husband were in Syria during a chemical attack in 2013.

"And on Wednesday is when we plan the arrival of the OPCW experts", a senior Russian official said in The Hague on Monday.

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Putin said the United States actions in Syria made the humanitarian catastrophe worse and caused pain for civilians. The joint operation came one week after a suspected chemical attack outside Damascus left more than 40 people dead.

She will say: "Let me be absolutely clear: we have acted because it is in our national interest to do so".

"The galloping alienation between Russian Federation and the West must also concern us, with consequences that will go far beyond this case". The Pentagon later stated that "no Syrian weapon had any effect on Western strikes in Syria".

Both Syria, which denies any chemical use, and Russian Federation, which provides military support to the Syrian government, have reacted angrily to the action.

"I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tampered with the site", Lavrov told the BBC on Monday.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has said his country is "fully ready" to cooperate with the OPCW mission. Macron, who called Putin on Friday to discuss the situation, still plans to travel to a security conference in St Petersburg in May, where they are expected to meet, an official said.

France urged OPCW nations to boost the organisation's work so it can completely dismantle Syria's "secret" toxic weapons programme. His comments came as the regime regained full control of Douma and deployed thousands more security forces there following a surrender deal with the rebels after a months-long government offensive that left hundreds dead.

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The OPCW team dispatched to Syria to investigate does not have a mandate to assign blame.

Syria insists there was no chemical attack, while the U.S., France and United Kingdom blame Syria. They said the only forces with military aircraft such as helicopters in Syria belong to Assad's government. Speaking on French television BFM and online site Mediapart, Macron stressed that the French diplomacy is able to talk with Iran, Russia and Turkey on one side and to the United States on the other side. Earlier in the week, Germany said it would not participate in any airstrikes against the Syrian regime.

State TV broadcast the rally live from the central square, where protesters waved Syrian flags in a demonstration that was dubbed a "salute to the achievements of the Arab Syrian Army".

Shouts of "Allah, Syria, and only Bashar", a reference to Assad, rang out.

The Trump administration will announce a new round of sanctions against Russian Federation on Monday, according to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. "Syria and Russian Federation need to stop the disinformation and allow unfettered access to the attack sites", she said.

Before and after satellite pictures have revealed the damage of Saturday's US, French and British strikes that were meant to punish Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack.

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