Propaganda king/Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is notorious for denying that his pro-government forces attack civilians. He claimed that a viral photo of a bloodied Aleppo boy was forged, and he threw the hoax label on the April 2017 chemical attack (which was carried out with aid by staunch ally Russia), a move that was backed up by the Pizzagate crowd. So, it seems like a (non-)logical extension for Russia to call the latest chemical attack — that affected around 500 civilians, dozens of them fatally — a “fabrication.”
Not only that, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused an unspecified foreign power of staging the entire scene in Douma, which includes horrific photos that show dead children with foam oozing from their mouths. Lavrov insists that Russian investigators uncovered no evidence of chemical weapons, despite an international watchdog finding plenty of proof that the attack happened. The New York Times has more from Lavrov:
Moscow, he said, has “irrefutable information that it was another fabrication.” Lavrov did not offer evidence to back up his claim. Other Russian officials — both from Moscow and speaking at the United Nations — alleged quickly after Saturday’s suspected attack that the images of the victims in Douma were a sham.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also claimed that following Syrian rebels’ withdrawal from the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, stockpiles of chemical agents were allegedly found there. The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by the rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.
Meanwhile, President Trump is still weighing whether to carry out another missile strike on the Syrian government for these newest fatal tactics in the ongoing civil war. This week, he warned Russia to prepare for these seemingly imminent strikes before walking back any implication on timing and asking (in regard to the war on terror), “Where is our ‘Thank you America?'” And if there’s any doubt on which foreign power Russia is pointing the finger at, well, the answer to that question is probably the U.S. or Israel.
UPDATE: Russia has now filled in the blanks by accusing Britain of “staging” this chemical attack, which makes no sense, but presumably, the Kremlin thinks this has something to do with the recent poisoning of an ex-Russian spy on British soil.
(Via New York Times)