MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. The United States is using the topic of chemical weapons in Syria to change government in that country, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin said on Friday.
"The chemical agenda is just a pretext. Everything the United States wants is to drive the Syrian government into the corner and have the Assad regime step down. Concurrently, they are targeting Russia: first in a low voice, then louder and louder, and in an aggressive tone. Adding the Skirpal case on top of that," he said in an interview with the NTV channel.
Earlier, the so-called White Helmets and other non-government organizations alleged that Syrian government troops had dropped a chlorine bomb on civilians in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta on April 7. These allegations were used by the United States, France and the United Kingdom as a pretext to deliver a massive airstrike on Syria on April 14. As many as 103 cruise missiles were fired at military and civilian targets, including in a Damascus suburb. Sevent-one of them were shot down by Syrian air defense systems. Three civilians were wounded.
Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry dismissed reports about the alleged chemical attack in Syria as fake news. The Russian defense ministry stated that White Helmets were an unreliable source, notorious for disseminating falsehoods. The Russian center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties on April 9 examined Douma to find no traces of chemical weapons.