U.S. Central Command said coalition aircraft were given the wrong coordinates by their partner forces, the predominantly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, for the strike on Tuesday that was meant to target IS militants south of their Tabqa stronghold, near the extremists' de facto capital, Raqqa. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported 25 SDF fighters were killed in the last two days of battle, while the activist-run Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently group said on Wednesday that three days of mourning were to be held in a border town held by the SDF after the arrival of the bodies of 15 fighters from the battle.
The campaign has come at a cost to the predominantly Kurdish forces, which receive ground and air support from the USA military and other allies. "They fabricated the whole story to have a pretext for the attack".
The toxic gas attack on April 4, which killed scores of people including children, prompted a US cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base and widened a rift between the United States and Russian Federation, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his conflict with rebels and militants fighting to oust him.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner called Assad's comments "an attempt by him to throw up false flags, create confusion".
A Syrian man receives treatment at a small hospital in the town of Maaret al-Noman following a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Shaykhun, a nearby militant-held town in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, on April 4, 2017.
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A team of experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog has been sent to Turkey to collect samples as part of an investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria last week that killed 87 people.
Rudskoy noted that, under the 2013 agreement to give up its chemical weapons, the Syrian government destroyed its stockpiles at 10 sites that were under its control.
A former US official knowledgeable about the episode told Truthout that the Russians had actually informed their USA counterparts in Syria of the Syrian military's plan to strike the warehouse in Khan Sheikhoun 24 hours before the strike. The government says Syrian warplanes struck an al-Qaida arms depot that contained chemical weapons. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the veto left Moscow with "a lot to prove".
Mr Rycroft was speaking during a UN Security Council meeting to discuss a resolution put forward by the US, UK and France, which, as expected, was vetoed by Russian Federation. It is unclear whether they will ever be able to return to their homes.