Lavrov: Chemical Attack in Syria’s Douma Staged by Foreign Special Services

MOSCOW- Russia has indisputable data that the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma was staged by special services of a foreign country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"The mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] has set off to Syria not so quickly and without abundant enthusiasm but under our and Syrian pressure. It is due to arrive in Damascus in the morning of April 14," the Russian foreign minister said, according to Itar Tass.

"We expect the mission to go without any delay to Douma where Russian specialists who examined this place have not found any confirmations of the use of chemical weapons," Lavrov noted.

 "We have the irrefutable data that this [chemical attack] was staged," the minister stressed.

"And special services of a country, which is now seeking to be in the first ranks of the Russophobic campaign, were involved in this staged event," Lavrov pointed out.

Lavrov hopes West won’t embark on ‘reckless’ adventurism in Syria

Lavrov expressed his hope that Western countries would decide not to follow the Iraqi or Libyan scenarios in Syria.

"God forbid some reckless steps are made in Syria like in Libya or Iraq…Now, I hope, no one will gamble on embarking on such a risky venture," Lavrov told reporters. "But nevertheless, even insignificant incidents will once again spark new migrant flows into Europe."

The unstable situation in Syria may trigger other consequences which neither Russia nor its European neighbors need, Lavrov noted. "They may be only welcomed by those who are overseas and expect to hide out while continuing efforts to destroy this entire region in order to keep advancing their geopolitical projects here," he said.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump threatened to take military action against Syrian authorities over the alleged use of chemical agents in the town of Douma near Damascus. A number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, stated that chemical weapons were used in the Eastern Ghouta area on April 7.

The Russian Foreign Ministry lambasted this report as a fake news story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets are not a reliable source since they are notorious for spreading fabricated information.

Russian military: No traces of using chemical weapons in Douma

The Syrian News Agency SANA reported on Friday that a Russian military source said there have been no traces of using any chemical weapons in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus Countryside.

In a press statement quoted by RT website on Friday, the source said that Russian experts arrived in Douma a day after the alleged chemical attack and took samples of soil and shrapnel from the site, which did not contain any nerve gas or chlorine.

The source added that upon inspecting the area, no traces were found of toxic substances in the hospital which appeared in the” White Helmets” recordings or the medical staff and patients , adding that the analysis showed no toxic effects and no injuries were reported among the inhabitants.

Doctors, local residents and militants who have left Douma have said that they did not witness anyone being affected by chemical weapons, the source said, adding that the military doctors of Hmeimim-based Russian Coordination Center confirmed the absence of any case involving poisonous gases or chlorine after visiting the only hospital in Douma.

The source said that no dead bodies of people affected by poisonous gases were found in Douma and the health workers and local residents have no information where the alleged bodies were buried as claimed by authors of the chemical fabrications in Douma.