MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Russia has indisputable data that the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma was staged by special services of a foreign country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"The mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] has set off to Syria not so quickly and without abundant enthusiasm but under our and Syrian pressure. It is due to arrive in Damascus in the morning of April 14," the Russian foreign minister said.
"We expect the mission to go without any delay to Douma where Russian specialists who examined this place have not found any confirmations of the use of chemical weapons," Lavrov noted.
- Syrian diplomat names those responsible for bringing chemical weapons to Syria
- US still assessing data on alleged chemical attack in Syria, defense chief says
- Russian top brass slams WHO’s statement about people exposed to chemical weapons in Syria
- Russia supports idea of independent mechanism to probe into Syria chemical attacks
- Russian reconciliation center found no trace of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma
"We have the irrefutable data that this [chemical attack] was staged," the minister stressed.
"And special services of a country, which is now seeking to be in the first ranks of the Russophobic campaign, were involved in this staged event," Lavrov pointed out.
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.
Representatives of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides held a probe in Douma on April 9 but found no traces of chemical weapons use. On April 10, Damascus sent an official invitation to the OPCW to visit Eastern Ghouta. On the same day, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said the organization had made a decision to send its experts to Syria.