Russia is calling the Syrian chemical attack a “false flag” by Great Britain. Via TASS:
Russia’s defense ministry has evidence proving the United Kingdom’s direct involvement in the organization of the provocation with the alleged chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta, Igor Konashenkov, the ministry’s spokesman, said on Friday.
He said the ministry had found those who took part in filming the rent-a-mob chemical attack in Syria’s Douma and these people told how the video had been shot.
Today, the Russian defense ministry has other evidence proving the United Kingdom’s direct involvement in the organization of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,” he said
In his words, the so-called White Helmets were pressed by London in a period from April 3 to 6 to hurry up with the implementation of the planned provocation. “The White Helmets were told that in a period from April 3 to 6 Jaysh al-Islam militants would conduct a series of massive artillery bombings of Damascus. It would provoke a retaliation operation by government forces and the White Helmets were to use it to stage a provocation with an alleged use of chemical weapons,” he said.
There’s been no response (yet) from Prime Minister Theresa May, although the U.S. has already dismissed the claim: Via AP:
“The United States estimates that (President Bashar) Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times,” said Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
The accusation by Russia (who had previously blamed the White Helmets aka Syrian Civil Defence for Douma) was made a few hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov laid the groundwork for the claim during a news conference. Here’s Russia Today report on it.
“We have irrefutable evidence that it was another staging, and the special services of a state which is in the forefront of the Russophobic campaign had a hand in the staging,” Lavrov said at a news conference with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok on Friday…
Russia’s top diplomat warned against following the Libyan and Iraqi scenarios amid the intensifying bellicose rhetoric.
“God forbid something adventurous will be undertaken in Syria similar to the Libyan or Iraqi experience… I hope nobody dares to,” Lavrov told reporters.
Otherwise, a new wave of refugees will surge into Europe and in other directions, the foreign minister warned. However, this scenario does not bother those “who are protected by an ocean” and can rip apart the region for the sake of geopolitical interests, he said.
The last comment is an obvious swipe at America, which is considering air strikes against Syria for the attack. Of course, no one really knows if/when the attacks will happen since President Donald Trump’s “very soon or not soon at all” tweet yesterday. Of course, the U.S., France, and Britain all claim to have evidence the Syrian government carried out the attack, but, as Ed noted, Tyr, or if you prefer Greek gods, Ares, may not be girding their loins for even more action in Syria because the U.S is still deliberating what to do.
The BBC also reports Great Britain is waiting to see what Trump will decide before doing something about Syria.
The UK government is “waiting for instructions” from Donald Trump about whether to launch a missile strike on Syria, Jeremy Corbyn has said.
The Labour leader spoke out after Cabinet ministers agreed “on the need to take action” in Syria to “deter the further use of chemical weapons”.
Ministers said it was “highly likely” the Assad regime was responsible for a suspected chemical attack…
President Trump spoke to the prime minister on Thursday evening, and the pair agreed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had “established a pattern of dangerous behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons”.
A statement from Downing Street added: “They agreed to keep working closely together on the international response.”
President Trump is expected to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron about what form action could take, with the White House saying “no final decision has been made”
The last comment about Trump talking to Macron is interesting because Macron had his own conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin today. At least, that’s what the Russian Bear is claiming via TASS.
When asked if the two leaders had discussed the situation in Syria, (Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters) : “yes, the conversation touched upon that.”
The Russian presidential spokesman said that the conversation’s details would be provided later…
The Russian leader called to carry out a thorough and unbiased investigation into the incident in Syria’s Douma and avoid unfounded accusations against anyone until the investigation was over.
“It is most important to refrain from ill-considered and dangerous steps which would be a gross violation of the United Nations’ Charter and would have unpredictable consequences,” the Kremlin said.
It’s pretty interesting Peskov said to not make any accusations against anyone else since Macron said yesterday Syria did it, and the Russian government is now blaming Great Britain. It’s almost like the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but a part of me suspects Russia is going what all good empires do and play both sides. Make the defiant statements to appease Assad and the “let’s be cautious” ones to try to appease the rest of the world. Sorta.
It should be pointed out Russia’s accusation against Britain comes the same day the Russian Embassy in UK made public its report on the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal which blasted Britain for how it handled the probe. My guess is this is Putin’s regime getting back at Great Britain for saying Russia did the Skripal poisoning. It’s finger-pointing with lives at stake.
I’m on record as saying we have zero business being involved Syria, even if the chemical weapons attack is an affront to humanity. I don’t see Assad as a threat to the United States, nor do I believe he ever will become one. This is a civil war inside Syrian border. The Arab League could certainly try to do something, but they appear focused on Palestine, if Arab News is to be believed. It could be considered a dereliction of duty by the Arab League since Syria is technically a member, even if the country was suspended in 2011.
Who knows what’s going to happen in Syria, but the increase in rhetoric is going to make the weekend interesting.