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Senator Mccain Alleges Russia Cooperated With Syria in Chemical Weapons Attack

US Senator John McCain accused Russia on Monday of having cooperated with the Syrian government forces in a chemical weapons attack that has killed more than 80 people, including more than a dozen children.

Updated:April 10, 2017, 11:50 PM IST
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Senator Mccain Alleges Russia Cooperated With Syria in Chemical Weapons Attack
File photo of US Senator John McCain ( Reuters)
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Belgrade: US Senator John McCain accused Russia on Monday of having cooperated with the Syrian government forces in a chemical weapons attack that has killed more than 80 people, including more than a dozen children.

The Republican senator said at a press conference in Belgrade that he believes "the Russians knew about chemical weapons because they were operating exactly from the same base".

He said the US launched cruise missile strikes last week against the Syrian base "in a response to a chemical attack".

"I hope that this behaviour by Syria, in what clearly is cooperation with Russia and Syria together, will never happen again," he said.

McCain said the US should take out Syria's air force as part of stopping Syrian President Bashar Assad from repeating such attacks in the future.

"I would prevent Bashar Assad from flying from his airfields if he doesn't renounce the use of these weapons," the former American airman said. "The United States should first tell Russia that this kind of a war crime is unacceptable in the world today."

He said the upcoming visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow should "lead to an agreement on the part of the Russians that they will not allow Syria to ever again use chemical weapons".

"Remember, Russians made that commitment after they (Syrian government forces) crossed the so-called red line back in 2014. I hope that this will be the first item on the agenda," McCain said.

He also said he would "make sure that we arm and train some of those who fight against Bashar Assad".

McCain is on a tour of the western Balkans, the war-weary European region where Russia has been vying for increased military, political and economic influence.

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