Russia says Britain helped fake Syria chemical attack

by Reuters
Friday, 13 April 2018 18:51 GMT

(Adds details, British U.N. ambassador quote)

MOSCOW, April 13 (Reuters) - Russia's Defence Ministry said on Friday that Britain was involved faking a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

Britain and its allies accuse Damascus of carrying out the suspected attack on Douma and are considering military action against Syria in response. Syria and its main ally Russia deny a chemical attack took place.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the United States had invented reports of a chemical attack in the area, and warned against the use of this as justification for increased military action.

In a televised briefing on Friday, Russia's Ministry of Defence repeated the government's stance that the attack was faked, adding that it had proof that Britain participated in its staging.

"We have... evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organising this provocation," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov said that Russia knew "for sure" that between April 3-6, the White Helmets - a group which helps civilians in opposition-held territory in Syria - were "under severe pressure specifically from London to produce as quickly as possible this pre-planned provocation."

British U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce denied Britain was in any way involved.

This is grotesque, it is a blatant lie, it is the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian propaganda machine," Pierce told reporters. (Reporting by Polina Ivanova Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Raissa Kasolowsky)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.