Russia Says Deadly Chemical Attack in Syria Never Happened and Was Faked By the British

More than 40 people, many of them children, died.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, speaks in front of a screen showing Syrian children in a hospital at a briefing at the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow on Friday, April 13. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Last weekend in the Syrian town of Douma, more than 500 people had symptoms of a chemical attack as they foamed at the mouth and struggled to breathe, according to the World Health Organization. The suspected attack by the Syrian government ultimately killed more than 40 people, many of them children.

Syria, and its supporters Russia and Iran, have denied the used of chemical weapons. 

Instead, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenko pointed a finger at the United Kingdom on Friday. According to USA TODAY, Konashenkov released statements he said were from medics at Douma’s hospital who claimed none of the patients were hurt by chemicals. People with video cameras entered the hospital, yelling that patients had been struck with chemical weapons, he added. Konashenkov said that Russia has “evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in the provocation,” but didn’t provide more details or evidence to back up his claim. 

Douma was the last holdout of rebel groups in eastern Ghouta. The region has been under siege for years and has been the victim of multiple chemical attacks in the past. On Friday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also claimed he had “irrefutable evidence” the Douma attack was staged with the help of an unspecified foreign intelligence agency, but he didn’t provide any evidence.

These allegations may be part of an escalating war of words between Britain and Russia. Last month, a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned in the UK with what officials have said was a military grade nerve agent. The UK says Russia was behind the poisoning, though Moscow has denied any role.  

President Trump has promised to retaliate for the Syrian chemical attack and warned Russia about its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Days before images from the attack appeared, Trump told his military commanders to wrap up operations and start withdrawing US troops from Syria within a few months.

 

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.