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Crisis in Syria

Russia accuses the U.K. of 'staging' suspected chemical attack in Syria

Russia claimed Friday that a suspected chemical attack in Syria last weekend was "staged" by the U.K.

The U.S. has accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of directing the use of chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta. The attack reportedly killed dozens of civilians in an area that has been targeted by the Syrian government because of the presence of rebel groups. Blood and urine samples taken from the area showed evidence that the incident was in fact a chemical attack, NBC News reports.

But the Kremlin, which backs al-Assad's government, said there was "irrefutable data" proving that the attack was "yet another staged event," reports NBC News. A Russian military spokesperson released a statement that said the U.K. was "directly involved in the provocation," The Associated Press reports. Medics at the local hospital additionally said that none of the patients were hurt by chemicals, the spokesperson said.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, refuted Russia's claims, saying: "We know who did this. Our allies know who did this. Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups." President Trump is determining how to respond to the attack, Haley said.