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Russia Says Douma Chemical Attack Was ”Planned Provocation” By British Intelligence

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Russia Says Douma Chemical Attack Was ''Planned Provocation" By British Intelligence

REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh

According to the Russian envoy to the OPCW Aleksandr Shulgin, Russia has “irrefutable proof” that the so-called Douma chemical attack was a “false-flag” orchestrated by British intelligence services with possible support from the US.

“Therefore, we have not just a “high degree of confidence,” as our Western partners claim, but we have incontrovertible evidence that there was no incident on April 7 in Douma and that all this was a planned provocation by the British intelligence services, probably, with the participation of their senior allies from Washington with the aim of misleading the international community and justifying aggression against Syria,” Shulgin said at a special meeting of the UN chemical watchdog’s executive council.

“Things unfolded according to the pre-written scenario prepared by Washington. There’s no doubt, the Americans play ‘first fiddle’ in all of this,” he said adding that the Douma incident was staged by “pseudo-humanitarian NGOs,” which are sponsored by opponents of the Syrian government.

“Among them, are the notorious ‘White Helmets,’ which some delegations are so fond of praising,” Shulgin added.

He also noted that Russian military specialists had found “not a single piece of evidence” confirming the claims about the alleged chemical attack. In turn, the Russian specialists reportedly found local witnesses who said that the video allegedly showing the aftermath of the perceived attack was staged.

The diplomat went further and drew attention to the timing of the attack adding that the Syrian government had no reason to gas its own citizens when the town was already almost liberated. Shulgin described the accusations against Damascus as “absurd”.

“Not a single witness, not one poisoned person in the hospital could be found. No remains of chemical weapons were found. But we have managed to find direct participants in the filming of the production video, which was presented as ‘proof’ of the chemical attack,” Shulgin said. “Everything has been developing according to the script that was prepared in Washington. There is no doubt that Americans are playing the ‘first violin’ in all of this. The United States, the United Kingdom, France and some other countries after the “fake” addition from the White Helmets and their ilk in Douma, immediately pounced upon the Syrian authorities with accusations.”

“They put the blame on the Syrian authorities in advance, without even waiting for the OPCW mission to begin to establish the possible facts of the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” he said.

According to the OPCW Chief, the OPCW mission has not yet deployed to the town of Douma.

“The Team has not yet deployed to Douma. The Syrian and the Russian officials who participated in the preparatory meetings in Damascus have informed the FFM Team that there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place. In the meantime the Team was offered by the Syrian authorities that they could interview 22 witnesses who could be brought to Damascus,” OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said as quoted by the organization.

In a separate statement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has rebuffed allegations that Russian specialists tampered with the evidence during the visit of the alleged attack site in Douma.

Lavrov’s remakrs were a response to a statement by US Ambassador to the Organization for the OPCW Kenneth Ward in which he accused Russia of of having the “intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation.”

“You quoted the leaders of France and [the] UK and the United States. And frankly speaking, all the evidence which they quoted was based on the media reports and on social networks,” Lavrov said.

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