Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Russia Accuses UK of Setting Up Chemical Attack in Syria

Russia Accuses UK of Setting Up Chemical Attack in Syria

The accusations followed an earlier statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that "intelligence agencies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russo-phobic campaign were involved in that fabrication".

The UK said it was "essential" the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was granted "unfettered access" to Douma.

Douma was a rebel stronghold at the time of the attack on 7 April and is now under the control of the Syrian government and Russian military.

"I can not be impolite with the heads of other states, but you quoted the leaders of France and the United Kingdom and USA and, frankly speaking, all the evidence they quoted was based on media reports and social media". The inspectors met Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official in Damascus for about three hours on Sunday.

The claim by Russian Federation comes at a time when the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is likely to face heavy political pressure over her decision to bomb Syria's chemical weapons program.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the strikes had accomplished their aim of undermining efforts by the Syrian government to produce and use chemical weapons again in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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Syria and its ally Russian Federation denied the alleged attack took place.

"... None of the missiles involved in this mission was not successfully struck the Syrian air defense, and there is no indication that were involved in the Russian air defense system", - stated in the message.

The other two were suspected chemical weapons facilities at Him Shinshar near Homs.

Following the USA -led strikes, however, "we consider it possible to return to examination of this issue not only in regard to Syria but to other countries as well", Rudskoi said.

The Russians say 71 missiles were shot down by Syrian systems.

While none of the cruise missiles launched by the U.S. and its allies reached the Russian air defense zones, the strikes sparked outrage in Moscow.

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U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward levied the accusation against Russian Federation during a closed-door meeting at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The strikes, it said, were conducted by two United States ships traversing the Red Sea, adding that the coalition also deployed B-1 Lancer strategic bombers and arranged tactical air support in the airspace over the Mediterranean. On Friday, Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, warned of "consequences" after the allied attacks. "We're matching", he said.

"Russia is able "to annoy" the USA by stopping or severely restricting cooperation in outer space, or by cutting supplies of components for Boeing aircraft, [and] close the supply of titanium", said Petr Pushkarev, chief analyst of TeleTrade.

American and British officials said that the attacks disclosed on Monday affected a wide range of organizations including internet service providers, private businesses and critical infrastructure providers.

The reason that the Assad regime uses chemical weapons is because it is engaged in a war against Syria's Sunni Muslim population, and is attempting to ethnically cleanse entire communities deemed a "threat" to the regime.

"The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries". Both the Russian military and the Syrian government said they would facilitate the mission and ensure the inspectors' security.

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Addressing the French parliament, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Saturday's operation had not been the "prelude to a war".

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