Russia is claiming the chemical attack in Syria was staged by foreign agents, singling out one country in particular.
During a press briefing Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he had “irrefutable evidence” it was staged as part of a “russophobic campaign.” While he did not name which country Russia believed was behind it, General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for Russia's defense ministry, blamed Britain.
“We have... evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organizing this provocation,” he said, reports BBC.
Konashenkov released statements he said came from medics at Douma’s hospital, saying a group of people toting video cameras entered the hospital, shouting that its patients were struck with chemical weapons, dousing them with water and causing panic. The statement said none of the patients had any symptoms of chemical poisoning.
Konashenkov said that “powerful pressure from London was exerted on representatives of the so-called White Helmets to quickly stage the premeditated provocation.” He added that the Russian military has proof of British involvement, but didn’t immediately present it. (WaPo)
Karen Pierce, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations, responded by calling the allegations a "grotesque, blatant lie." She went on to state that “Britain has no involvement and would never have any involvement in the use of a chemical weapon.”
The United States and France also say they have proof the attack took place.
Pierce said the allegation was “some of the worst piece of fake news we’ve yet seen from the Russia propaganda machine.”
Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN, agreed, saying, “Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups.”
President Trump has not made a decision yet on how the U.S. will respond to the attack, she said—a point he made clear on Twitter earlier this week.
“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place,” Trump said Thursday. “Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?””