Syria, Russia present witnesses of ‘staged’ gas attack

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Hassan Diab, a child (Right-2nd) witness to the alleged gas attack in Syria's Douma, speaks at a news conference in The Hague, the Netherlands, April 26, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia says the recent suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma was a “provocation” that Moscow had warned about in advance. 

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, made the remarks during a press conference in The Hague on Thursday.

He said the only evidence for the alleged gas attack was a “sloppily staged” video shot by a pseudo-humanitarian organization in a bid to “touch hearts,” adding that the same strategy had been used in previous false flag attacks in Syria.

Western states blamed the Syrian government for the suspected chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb town of Douma on April 7.

One week after the incident, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

Syria has rejected the accusations of possessing chemicals. It surrendered its chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the OPCW and the UN.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Russian official said the representatives of the three countries that launched the Syria strikes were absent at Thursday’s briefing because they were afraid to look into the eyes of the witnesses of the Douma incident.

The conference featured the witnesses “who were used in staged videos of the ‘chemical attack’ in Douma,” according to an invitation letter.

Hassan Diab, a 11-year-old child witness, was among the participants in Thursday’s event. He had earlier said that he was made to pose as a victim of chemical weapons.

Diab told the conference, “We were at the basement and we heard people shouting that we needed to go to a hospital. We went through a tunnel. At the hospital they started pouring cold water on me.”

Syrian witnesses reveal Western lies

Additionally, Syria’s deputy representative to the OPCW Ghassan Obaid said the witnesses revealed “the false of allegations and lies of Western countries about the allegations of chemical use in Douma city.”

He also noted that all the chemical allegations against the Syrian government were leveled by Western countries to “distort” the Syrian army’s image that is conducting a counter-terrorism operation.

He further said that Syria had sent more than 100 letters to the OPCW on terrorist groups’ plan to use chemical weapons in order to blame the Syrian army.

“We provided specific information with coordinates of the location of terrorists’ chemical weapons stockpiles,” Obaid said, adding that the Syrian army had found a large militant warehouse in Douma containing chemical, toxic and explosive materials.

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