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Lavrov: 'Thorough investigation into Syria chemical attack necessary'

In 2014, Syria said it had handed over all of its chemical weapons to the UN's Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The U.S. has blamed the Syrian government for launching the attack that killed more than 80, while Russian Federation has claimed that toxic agents were released from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian warplanes.

Syria's former chemical weapons research chief Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat told The Telegraph Mr Assad did not declare large amounts of sarin precursor chemicals and other toxic materials.

"They say still that it is not very safe, but they can not put forward convincing arguments", Russia's top diplomat said.

Johnson vowed that Britain and its allies would gather evidence for "war crimes prosecutions for those responsible" for the chemical attack. "They had at least 2,000 tonnes".

The Foreign Secretary was widely criticised for failing to get the G7 to back his bid for new sanctions against senior Russian and Syrian figures in the aftermath of the chemical weapons attack on civilians in Idlib province.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts at Friday's trilateral meeting in Moscow, denounced last week's USA attack on Syria and warned that any further such action would entail "grave consequences not only for regional but global security".

"If you look at Halabja (the 1988 chemical attack carried out by Saddam Hussein's forces against the Kurdish city) we think just five tons of sarin was used and more than 12,000 people died", he said.

"British scientists have analysed samples from the victims of the attack".

"I believe it is unacceptable to take this so carelessly, because all our appeals to the OPCW and our Western partners are met with speculations that these 200 tons have literally evaporated", he said. The U.S. accuses Assad of deliberately launching the attack.

Russian Federation on Wednesday vetoed a United Nations resolution demanding the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation into the alleged chemical attack, blocking Security Council action against its ally for an eighth time.

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