Russia slams 'planned' media attack against Syria

Russia slams 'planned' media attack against Syria
Thu Aug 22, 2013 18:32:52

Reports by “biased regional media” about alleged chemical weapons use near Damascus might be “a provocation planned in advance,” says Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich.

“It draws attention to the fact that biased regional media have immediately, as if on command, begun an aggressive information attack, laying all the responsibility on the government,” Lukashevich said in a statement on Wednesday. 

The Russian Foreign Ministry, citing its sources, said that a homemade rocket carrying unidentified chemical substances had been launched from an area controlled by the militants.

“A homemade rocket with a poisonous substance that has not been identified yet – one similar to the rocket used by terrorists on March 19 in Khan al-Assal - was fired early on August 21 [at Damascus suburbs] from a position occupied by the insurgents,” Lukashevich said. 

Earlier on Wednesday, conflicting reports emerged of recent chemical weapons use in Syria. This comes on the same day that the UN inspectors arrive in Damascus to investigate allegations of use of toxic arms. The casualty figures range from dozens to almost 1,300 deaths. 

The Russian diplomat stated that it seems as though it was “a provocation planned in advance.” The “criminal action” near Damascus coincided with the beginning of UN experts’ work in Syria - which speaks in favor of such a conclusion.

Lukashevich pointed out that similar reports about Syrian authorities allegedly using chemical weapons have popped up before. However, the information has never been confirmed.

In Moscow’s view, the latest possible “provocation” might be the anti-Syria militants’ attempt to get support from the UN Security Council and undermine the Geneva talks on Syria.

Russia believes the incident should be thoroughly investigated by professionals. It urged everyone who has influence on armed extremists to do everything possible to finally put an end to such provocations involving chemical poisonous substances.

Meanwhile, Washington said it has no independent verification about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The US is planning to consult the UN Security Council about the allegations, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, as cited by Reuters.

The chief UN chemical weapons investigator Ake Sellstrom discussed the alleged chemical attack with the Syrian government.

The organization’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was shocked by the report of the alleged attack, his press office said.

UN Security Сouncil gathered for an emergency meeting on alleged Syria gas attack at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.


string(849) "[{"id":"1507976","sort":"3075750","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/21/alalam_635127190428995554_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Chemical arms reports, fabricated: Syria"} ,{"id":"1507979","sort":"3075751","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/21/alalam_635127225968764057_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russia dismisses anti-Syria chemical claims"} ,{"id":"1508048","sort":"3075752","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/22/alalam_635127570277469749_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"UNSC urges clarity over chemical arms in Syria"} ,{"id":"1508137","sort":"3075753","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/22/alalam_635127716069336349_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran rejects Syria chemical arms use claims"} ,{"id":"1508212","sort":"3075754","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/22/alalam_635127861485257287_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"'Claims on Syria use of chemical weapons illogical'"} ]"