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Russia, Iran, Syria warn the United States against launching new strikes on Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the circumstances surrounding the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed more than 80 people were still not clear

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U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea which U.S. Defense Department said was a part of cruise missile strike against Syria, VOA
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Syria, April 15, 2017: Russia, Syria and Iran have warned the United States against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international investigation into the chemical weapons attack in Syria.

The foreign ministers from Russia, Syria and Iran, meeting Friday in Moscow, said any further unilateral action by the U.S. in Syria would be met with “grave consequences” and pose a danger to the entire world.

The U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria’s al-Shayrat air base last week in response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria days earlier.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the circumstances surrounding the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed more than 80 people were still not clear.

He criticized the world’s chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for not sending experts to the site of the attack to investigate.

“We consider it unacceptable to analyze events from a distance,” he said. Lavrov said the investigation should also be widened to include experts from many nations.

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Russia has rejected accusations from Western countries that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind the attack. Russia has alleged that the victims were killed when Syrian warplanes hit a rebel chemical arsenal. The U.S. accuses Assad of deliberately launching the attack.

“The use of chemical weapons as a pretext for violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state — a member of the United Nations — is a very dangerous activity,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. “It is essential to prevent such acts as the events in Khan Sheikhoun in [the] future.”

Lavrov said the U.S. missile strike on Syria was Washington seeking “excuses for regime change.” He added, “These attempts will not succeed, this will not happen.”

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Lavrov met Friday with his counterparts from Syria and Iran after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Moscow earlier this week. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said Friday’s meeting sent a “strong message” to Washington.

Russia and Iran are strong allies of Assad’s government and have backed the president during Syria’s six-year civil war. (VOA)

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Russia Just Launched the Fastest Cargo Mission Ever to the Space Station

The SpaceX's 15th cargo flight to the space station that launched on June 29 took three days to reach the space station

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The cargo vehicle will remain at the orbital outpost until late January 2019, NASA said.
The cargo vehicle will remain at the orbital outpost until late January 2019, NASA said. (IANS)

In a demonstration of expedited capability, a Russian cargo ship is readying itself to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) in less than four hours.

The Progress 70 resupply ship, loaded with almost 2,721 kgs of food, fuel and supplies, is set to launch from Baikonur space port in Kazakhstan at 3.51 am (Kazakhstan time) on Tuesday. .

“Russian mission controllers are planning a short three hour and 48 minute delivery trip, or just two orbits, to the station’s Pirs docking compartment,” NASA said in a blog post.

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The success of this mission may set the way for future Russian cargo and crew launches using the same expedited capability.

The cargo vehicle will remain at the orbital outpost until late January 2019, NASA said.

The SpaceX’s 15th cargo flight to the space station that launched on June 29 took three days to reach the space station. (IANS)