Sergey Lavrov with Donald Trump in the Oval Office

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has claimed that no traces of chemicals have been found at the site of last week’s attack in Douma. 

Lavrov went on to claim that the attack was staged, and laid the blame firmly at the door of the British. He said that “foreign intelligence services” faked the attack to pave the way for attacks on Syria — and to discredit Russia.

At a press conference in Russia today, Lavrov said:

“We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign was involved in this staged event.”

The Russian military later confirmed that the foreign intelligence agency accused of the staged attacks was Britain.

The Ministry also claimed that the attacks were “fake news”, orchestrated by the volunteer force in Syria colloquially known as the “white helmets”.

Children treated for gas attack in Syria
Children treated for after alleged gas attack in Syria

The Russian Ministry labelled the “white helmets” as one of a number of “pseudo-humanitarian organizations based in the UK and USA”. Britain was then accused of working hand in glove with terrorists in order to discredit the Assad regime.

It is clear that independent investigations are necessary before the US and its allies take another step towards conflict. Other opposition groups in Syria have reported gas attack victims in Douma, and the World Health Organization has received various reports of chemical-related symptoms among survivors.

Crucially, U.S. officials claim that blood from the victims has tested positive for nerve agents and chlorine — although the claim hasn’t yet been independently verified.

What happens next could determine whether we’re heading towards a wider conflict. With both sides accusing the other, it seems this latest impasse is headed towards a violent conclusion.

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