Monday, 21 May, 2018

Russia: Syria chemical assault 'fabrication' by overseas power

Albright There is no strategy on Syria Russian envoy 'cannot exclude' war with US
Sammy Stanley | 14 April, 2018, 12:30

Russia's foreign minister has asserted that a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend was fabricated with the help of an unspecified foreign intelligence agency.

Russia's United Nations ambassador warned that US-led strikes could lead to a confrontation between the world's two preeminent nuclear powers. The statement said none of the patients had any symptoms of chemical poisoning.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says Britain told the White Helmets, who act as first responders in opposition-held areas, to fake the suspected chemical attack in the town of Douma in which at least 42 people were killed.

. He added that the Russian military has proof of British involvement, but didn't immediately present it.

The Russian military has claimed an alleged chemical attack in Syria was staged and directed by Britain. "It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian Federation propaganda machine".

He said that "intelligence companies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russo-phobic advertising and marketing marketing campaign had been involved in that fabrication". He name or did not elaborate the nation.

It comes as London has blamed Moscow for a nerve agent attack on a former double agent and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury last month.

On April 6, the Trump administration unleashed additional sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin along with 12 companies they own or control.

According to a statement by the French presidency, Mr Macron called for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria.

The Kremlin said on Friday in its readout of the phone call between the two presidents that Putin and Macron agreed to ask their foreign policy chiefs to "keep in close contact" to "de-escalate" the situation in Syria.

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The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and unsafe actions ... that would have consequences beyond conjecture".

"Eventually, he got exasperated", said a source familiar with the internal debate at the White house.

Moscow and the United States are using their channels of communications on Syria, he added.

"If there is a USA missile attack, we - in line with both Putin and Russia's chief of staff's remarks - will shoot down USA rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles", Zasypkin told al Manar.

John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has worked with Bolton in the past, said Bolton was opposed to "empty symbolic gestures that make us feel good but have no strategic effects".

In the UK, Cabinet ministers said that it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was responsible for the attack and said the use of chemical weapons must not "go unchallenged".

The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.

US President Donald Trump appeared to back away from earlier threats of imminent action and France's Emmanuel Macron on Friday called for stepped-up talks with Moscow. "I hope no one would dare to launch such an adventure now", Lavrov said. An attack on them could raise the risk of a wider war in Syria at a time when Trump still wants to withdraw 2,000 US troops there in a matter of months.

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