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Russia says Britain staged deadly chemical attack on Syria

The Russian military claims that Britain staged the alleged chemical attack in Syria that killed at least 40 people.

The dubious assessment is likely to inflame global tensions five days after the poison gas assault on the rebel-held town of Douma.

Opposition activists said Syrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs with toxic gas on helpless civilians.

Government officials in Syria and Russia denied any involvement in the attack.

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A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman on Friday released statements purportedly by Douma hospital medics that he suggested proved the chemical attack claims were bogus.

The statements said a group of camera-toting people entered the hospital, shouting that its patients were struck with chemical weapons and triggering panic.

But the medics claimed that none of the patients were sickened by poison gas.

Russian Major. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Britain was “directly involved in the provocation,” but he didn’t elaborate or provide evidence.

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At about the same time Konashenkov’s claim surfaced, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed Russia in a scathing address to the U.N. Security Council.

“We know who did this. Our allies know who did this,” Haley said.

Nikki Haley speaks during a Security Council meeting on April 13, 2018.

Nikki Haley speaks during a Security Council meeting on April 13, 2018.

(Julie Jacobson/AP)

“Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover ups. Russia was supposed to guarantee that Assad wouldn’t use chemical weapons, and Russia did the opposite.”

She said Friday that “the United States estimates that (Syrian President Bashar) Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times.”

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Britain’s U.N. ambassador forcefully denied Russia’s claim, calling it “bizarre” and “a blatant lie.”

Karen Pierce said she wanted “to state categorically … that Britain has no involvement and would never have any involvement in the use of a chemical weapon.”

The U.S., Britain and France are weighing military strikes on Syria to punish Assad.

An armada of 12 U.S. Navy ships were headed to the region Friday afternoon.

Trump spoke to leaders of both allies on Thursday after meeting with his National Security Council.“We are continuing to have ongoing conversations with our partners and allies,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “We are continuing to have ongoing meetings and conversations here at the White House.”

Earlier this week, the President tweeted that a missile strikes against Syria could happen “very soon or not so soon at all.”

Moscow and Syrian leaders warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate. 


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