MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. The stance that the Western powers take on the issue of chemical weapons in Syria may encourage the chemical terrorism to go beyond the borders of the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, commenting on the May 17-18 meeting of the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons.
"Inciting the Syrian armed opposition to provocations of this kind may lead to a situation, in which the phenomenon of ‘chemical’ terrorism, which had emerged in the Middle East with their (West’s) connivance, goes beyond the region’s borders with all due catastrophic consequences," the ministry said.
The Russian side expressed hope that "sooner or later, the truth will prevail" and accusations against Russia and Syria "will backfire."
A number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, stated that chemical weapons were used in Eastern Ghouta on April 7. Representatives from the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Opposing Sides examined Douma on April 9 and found no trace of any use of chemical weapons there. The next day the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) decided to deploy its experts to Syria to check reports of the possible use of chemical weapons there.
The OPCW inspectors arrived in Damascus on April 14. Several hours before the US, the UK and France had conducted a massive strike on Syria, having used reports of the incident as a pretext and without approval of the UN Security Council. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian air defenses shot down 71 out of 103 missiles launched over Syrian facilities, and three civilians were injured.