Russia: Syria chemical attack 'fabrication' by foreign intelligence agency

Mindy Sparks
April 17, 2018

He reaffirmed Russia's view that a purported chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma that prompted the strike was a fake.

He noted that Russian Federation has in the past refrained from providing Syria with its state-of-the-art S-300 air defence missile systems at the insistence of the West, but could reconsider this decision now.

Putin said Russian military experts did not find any traces of chlorine gas or other poisonous substances in the area where Syrian government forces are alleged to have launched a chemical weapon attack, namely, in the rebel-held district of Douma near capital Damascus.

The missiles didn't strike any locations where Russian military forces are based; instead, hitting targets they believe are Syrian government chemical weapons labs.

The US-led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Assad's supremacy and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Assad. "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences".

A day before a team from the global chemical weapons watchdog was to arrive in Douma, just east of Damascus, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.

President Vladimir Putin later referred to this claim, saying on April 4 that Russian Federation had "irrefutable proof" that opposition fighters were planning an attack with "poisonous substances".

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov said, "These acts are illegal and unacceptable".

"Unfettered access essential. Russia & Syria must cooperate", tweeted the account of the British team with the OPCW, expressing concern that access to Douma was being denied.

Lavrov said that "intelligence agencies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russo-phobic campaign were involved in that fabrication".


And in London and Paris, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron faced criticism from political opponents over their decisions to take part in the air strikes against Syria.

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma has been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

Russia's theories about last Saturday's suspected chemical attack are reminiscent of previous contradictions.

The head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Uzumcu, told the closed-door meeting that his inspectors had failed to gain access to the site so far.

They are expected to start their work on Saturday.

The prospect of Western military action in Syria that could lead to a confrontation with Russian Federation hung over the Middle East but there was no clear sign that a US-led attack was imminent.

U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed the attack on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying there wasn't "much of a doubt" he was behind the strike. Will UK back Trump in World War 3?

"We did not do any coordination with Russian Federation on these strikes, and neither did we pre-notify them", Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday night.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Moscow's United Nations ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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