The Russian military has announced that they believe an alleged chemical attack in Syria was staged and directed by Britain. We were going to put a pun in the headline but honestly, this is ridiculous enough on its own.
Activists in the country had said a chemical attack by the Syrian government killed more than 40 people in the town of Douma and this drew international outrage. However, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov has now said:
“We have evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organising this provocation.”
#UPDATE Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says Britain told the White Helmets first responders to fake the suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma
— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 13, 2018
Russia has often accused opposition fighters of staging or spreading rumours of chemical attacks, but the involvement of Britain is a new claim.
Chemical weapons have previously been used by Bashar al-Assad’s force. Human Rights Watch has documented 85 chemical weapons attacks in Syria since 2013. For example, investigations by the United Nations and the OPCW have concluded that the Syrian government has previously used chemical weapons in the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack. The Syrian government and Russia claimed the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack came from a rebel operated chemical weapon workshop, however their claim was disproved by OPCW investigations.
Yesterday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry hit out at reports that the UK has ordered a British submarine to move within striking distance of Syria. As we reported here, a British nuclear submarine has been ordered to move “within missile range of Syria”, as strikes against the Assad regime are put on the table.
Prime Minister Theresa May said that London will join any punitive strike against the Syrian regime. May added that she will not be seeking a vote in parliament to authorise British participation in any forthcoming strike agianst Syria. British nuclear submarines of the Trafalgar and Astute class are armed with 1,000 mile range Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin had earlier said any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted, a step which could trigger a major escalation in the Syrian war.
“If there is a strike by the Americans then the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired” he told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.”
Now, Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, has suggested that a missile attack would be a grave error that the Prime Minister would have to apologise for later. She said the “young men” on board the submarines have no idea “what fate they are preparing for” and “what fate Theresa May prepares for them.”