Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during the Mukhtars (local administrators) meeting at Bestepe People's Culture and Congress Center in Ankara, on April 5, 2017. / AFP / ADEM ALTAN
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Turkey on Thursday slammed Russia over its backing of President Bashar Assad in the Syria conflict following a suspected chemical attack, as the first major cracks emerged between Moscow and Ankara after a dramatic reconciliation last year.Erdogan told Kanal 7 in an interview.Russia has stopped well short of blaming Assad for the suspected chemical attack in Idlib province that left at least 86 dead, including 27 children, whereas Erdogan on Wednesday laid the blame squarely at the door of "murderer Assad".Turkey and Russia have been on sharply opposing sides in the six-year-long Syria conflict, with Moscow supporting Assad but Ankara pushing for his ouster.World powers have also pointed the finger at Assad for the attack, but Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem repeated the government's denial on Thursday.
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