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

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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.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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