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Kremlin advocates restraint and impartial probe into Douma’s alleged chemical attack

Moscow expects all members of the global community to refrain from steps that may exacerbate the already fragile situation in Syria
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Russia calls for objective investigation into the reports that Syria allegedly possesses chemical weapons and disagrees with the version on this of a number of Western states, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"The situation around Syria is rather tense. You know about the disagreements on the topic of the alleged use of chemical weapons there," Peskov said. "Russia absolutely disagrees with this and calls for an unbiased investigation before delivering verdicts," he said.

Peskov also rejected the US criticism against Russia. "We disagree with these words. We believe that this information on such awful consequences of using chemical weapons in [Syria’s] Douma is not based on real data," he said. "Let’s not be guided by media reports, moreover citing imaginary sources," Peskov told reporters.

"The Kremlin backs an objective investigation into this situation [with alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria] to provide trustworthy data, and so that we don’t rely on rumors and fake media reports," Peskov said. "This matter is too responsible to make such conclusions which are not based on anything," he said.

Touching on a possible US strike on Syria, Peskov voiced hope that all participants of the international community will refrain from unnecessary steps.

"I want to hope that all countries will avoid steps which essentially haven’t been sparked by anything and which may destabilize the fragile situation in the region," he said.

Peskov declined to give hypothetical forecasts on the situation in Syria, should the United States deliver a possible strike against the Arab country.

"Let us not take guidance from newspaper reports, especially with reference to ephemeral sources," the Kremlin spokesman said.

"All Kremlin officials advocate an impartial probe into this situation [with the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria] so that trustworthy data can emerge and so that we are not guided by rumors and empty reports in the media," the Russian presidential spokesman said.

"This matter is too sensitive to make any unfounded conclusions," Peskov said.

On April 7, a number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, alleged that chemical weapons were used in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital. According to the statement published on the organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs had been dropped on the locality, killing dozens and poisoning many locals who had to be brought to the hospital.

On Sunday, the Russian Foreign Ministry rejected the reports as fake news regarding the alleged chemical attack carried out by the Syrian government forces in Douma. Allegations about the use of chemical agents by Syrian state forces are aimed at justifying external military strikes, the ministry said.

Two F-15 aircraft from the Israeli Air Force delivered a strike with eight missiles against Syria’s T-4 airfield in the Homs province on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The Syrian air defenses destroyed five of the eight launched missiles, while the remaining three managed to hit the western part of the airfield. No Russian advisers are among the casualties.