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White Helmets staged Douma ‘chemical weapons attack’ on civilians — Russian General Staff

April 11, 17:46 UTC+3

On April 7, a number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, alleged that chemical weapons were used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta

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© EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED BADRA

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. The chemical weapons attack on civilians in the Syrian town of Douma was staged and filmed by members of the White Helmets organization, First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir told reporters on Wednesday.

"On April 7, probably the last attempt to stage a chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta was made. The notorious White Helmets, who operate as part of terrorist groups, staged and filmed a chemical weapons attack on civilians in the town of Douma," he said.

Terrorists have failed to fake any chemical weapon attacks against civilians in Eastern Ghouta, he added. 

"During the humanitarian operation, the illegal armed units fighting in Eastern Ghouta have incessantly attempted to organize provocations involving the alleged use of toxic chemicals so as to put the blame for the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian government forces," he said.

"Since the beginning of the humanitarian operation in Eastern Ghouta terrorists have failed to fake a single so-called chemical weapon attack against the civilian population," the general said.

A workshop where militants had been loading ammunition with poisonous chemical agents has been found in underground tunnels in Syria, he went on. 

He said the militants had been plotting provocations involving the use of war gases, but all those plans had been timely exposed by the Syrian authorities and the Russian center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties.

"For instance, on March 3 the militants’ workshop was found in an underground tunnel in Hazrama. Makeshift ammunition pieces were charged with poisonous agents there," he said.

On April 7, a number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, alleged that chemical weapons were used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta. According to the statement published on the organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs had been dropped on the city, killing dozens and poisoning many locals who had to be brought to the hospital. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed that report as fake news. The Defense Ministry added that the White Helmets were notorious for spreading falsehoods. Regardless of that fact, on Sunday, when asked about the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, Trump blamed Russia and Iran for supporting Assad’s regime.

On April 9, Russian military chemists visited the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, including the health facility shown in the White Helmets’ footage, but found neither cases of exposure to chemical weapons nor traces of toxic agents.

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