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US must not act on fabricated pretexts in Syria: Moscow

In a joint statement, the White Helmets and the humanitarian group Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said 48 people were killed

AFP  |  Moscow 

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US President Donald Trump (Photo: AP/PTI)

today warned the against carrying out a "military intervention on fabricated pretexts" in Syria, insisting that the regime did not use weapons on an opposition holdout in Eastern

"We must once more warn that a military intervention under far-fetched and fabricated pretexts in Syria, where there are Russian soldiers at the request of the legitimate Syrian government, is absolutely unacceptable and could have the most dire consequences," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Released before called Syrian an "animal" and warning that there would be a "big price to pay" for what the US called a "mindless attack", the ministry called the allegations "provocations".

The rebel holdout of in eastern near was pounded Friday and Saturday by renewed airstrikes that killed at least 80 people, with first responders accusing forces loyal to Assad of using in the attacks, claims denied by

"The goal of this speculation... is to cover for the terrorists and the radical opposition who are rejecting a political settlement" to Syrias seven-year war, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Earlier, Yuri Yevtushenko, of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria, denied the allegations against the Assad regime.

"We are ready, once is freed from militants, to immediately send Russian specialists in radiation, and biological defence to collect data that will confirm these claims are fabricated," he said, quoted by news agencies.

The White Helmets, who act as first responders in rebel-held areas of Syria, along with an group and the opposition in exile, accused the of carrying out a

In a joint statement, the White Helmets and the humanitarian group (SAMS) said 48 people were killed.

The for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, reported dozens of cases of suffocation, some of them fatal, without saying whether were involved.

"These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demand an immediate response by the community," said in a statement earlier.

"The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately," she added.

"Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks."

The Syrian regime has been repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons, with the among those blaming government forces for a on the opposition-held village of in April 2017.

Since February 18, the regimes offensive has killed more than 1,600 civilians.

The regime has used a combination of a fierce military onslaught and two negotiated withdrawals to empty out 95 percent of the enclave near Damascus, but rebels are still entrenched in Ghoutas largest town of

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 09 2018. 01:09 IST