Russia makes bold claim about the apparent chemical attack that devastated Syria
In the wake of the shocking and horrifying events that have taken place in Syria over the last few days, political leaders and ministers have ended up in a war of words over who is to blame.
Saturday saw a chemical attack carried out on the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma, with there being dozens of people who have reportedly died as a result. However, rather than try and pull together to end the scenes on violence, leaders have started a slanging match more fitting of a schoolyard than a matter of life and death.
And now, in another turn of events, Russian's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the chemical attack in Syria was staged by foreign agents.
The response comes as the US and France claim that they have evidence of the chemical attack taking place and, alongside the UK, they are now considering military action. However, despite the threats, Russia, which has military forces deployed in Syria in support of the government, has warned that any US airstrikes would risk a potential war breaking out.
Chemical weapons inspectors are expected to arrive in Syria on Saturday in order to inspect the area surrounding the alleged attack.
During a press briefing on Friday, Mr Lavrov said that Russia had "irrefutable evidence" that the attack was staged as part of a "Russophobic campaign", which was being led by one country, who he refused to name.
As a result of the ongoing allegations, Russia has now requested a UN meeting in New York but it's not yet been confirmed if this will happen. The White House, on the other hand, has said that it will continue to monitor and assess intelligence while remaining in dialogue with its allies about how to respond to the situation.
A group of researchers from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will begin their investigations in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region on Saturday but few details are expected to be released about their movements for safety reasons.
The attack, which has been denied by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, was carried out on Saturday and control has now been passed from rebels to the Syrian and Russian military authorities.
According to The Violations Documentation Center, a Syrian opposition network that records alleged violations of international law, bodies were found foaming at the mouth, with discolored skin and burns to their eyes.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hayley, told the network: "We definitely have enough proof but now we just have to be thoughtful in our action."
French President Emmanuel Macron also claimed that his country had proof that the Syrian government were behind the attack, but refused to give further details.
It's not the first time that the Syrian government has been found responsible for a deadly chemical attack. Just last year, a UN report alleged that they had carried out a similar attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, in which more than 80 people died. That attack was followed by a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase.
So Russia is denying all responsibility and is instead claiming that it was framed. In all honesty, it'd be great if our political leaders could stop acting like children and just sort this mess out.