Russia Says Chemical Attack In Douma Is ‘Fake News’ To Justify Strikes Against Syria

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Moscow warns of “dire consequences” in the event of any military interference

Russia has said that reports of an alleged gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma are ‘fake news’ aimed at justifying potential strikes against Syria.

Moscow has also warned of “dire consequences” in the event of any military interference.

Russia has been warning that a false-flag chemical provocation was being prepared over recent months.

RT reports: The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the latest reports about a chemical attack that allegedly affected dozens of civilians in the militant-controlled town of Douma. It said the reports were another example of a “continuous series of fake news about the use of chlorine and other chemical agents by the government forces.”

The ministry pointed out that the source of the reports was the notorious “civil defense” group, the White Helmets, which has been repeatedly accused of having ties to terrorists, as well as other groups based in the US and UK.

Russia has warned about a false-flag chemical attack being prepared in the recent months, the ministry said. Those who are not interested in a genuine political settlement of the Syrian crisis are seeking to complicate the situation on the ground, it added.

“The goal of this… baseless speculation is to shield the terrorists and… the radical opposition that refuse to engage in a political settlement [process], as well as to justify potential military strikes from the outside,” the statement said. It then warned that any military interference in Syria conducted under “far-fetched or fabricated pretexts” would be “absolutely unacceptable” and could lead to “dire consequences.”

Meanwhile, the reports by various rebel-linked activists about the alleged chemical incident in Douma seem to have provoked yet another wave of hysteria in the West. US President Donald Trump rushed to denounce the unconfirmed attack as a “mindless” atrocity and a “humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever.” He also warned that those behind the alleged attack ‘will pay a big price.’

Accusations against the Syrian government and Russia soon followed. In his Twitter posts, Trump declared “President [Vladimir] Putin, Russia and Iran… responsible” for the attack because of their backing for Syrian President Bashar Assad. Earlier, the US State Department also said that “Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the brutal targeting of countless Syrians with chemical weapons.”

However, US officials admitted that they were unable to independently verify any information about the alleged incident and had to rely solely on “reports” made by rebel-linked sources. This is not the first time that reports of chemical attacks pinned on Damascus have surfaced on social media.

Moscow had warned that unconfirmed reports of atrocities and false-flag chemical incidents were likely to appear at a time when militant factions are losing ground in Syria. The latest report came as the Syrian Army pushed to liberate the remaining militant-occupied settlements in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, with the city of Douma being the last such city in the area.

It comes as Jaysh al-Islam militants holding the city of Douma reportedly held talks with government forces and agreed to leave the enclave. Damascus said on March 31 that nearly all militant-held settlements in Ghouta were liberated, and a major Syrian highway had been cleared after a seven-year militant blockade.

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