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After chemical attack, Turkey renews calls for Assad’s ouster

Is Turkey bringing back its previous policy regarding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad?
Civil defense members inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes on Tuesday, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah - RTX3474G

Much of what has happened in Syria since the April 4 chemical weapons attack that killed more than 70 civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun is old wine in old bottles. Though embarrassed by the episode, Russia and Iran, supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is the suspected culprit, have warned the United States not to launch additional missile strikes like those launched April 7 against a regime-held air base. Hoping to deflect the blame from Assad, Moscow and Tehran have called for a “thorough and impartial” investigation of the Khan Sheikhoun massacre.

Meanwhile, the Assad regime has accused the opposition and its sympathizers of carrying out a “false flag” operation, the same accusation it made after the chemical attacks in Ghouta, near Damascus, in August 2013.

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