Russia has said it has ‘proof’ the alleged chemical weapons attack Syria was faked by local aid workers on British orders.
The Russian Defence Ministry claims the UK ordered volunteer aid organisation White Helmets to ‘stage’ the attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta, which killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds.
This comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s claim that the Douma attack was ‘staged’ by ‘a state at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign’.
Shocking claims: Russia claims it has proof that London ordered local volunteer aid organisation White Helmets to ‘stage’ the attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta, which killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds on Saturday
Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the military had ‘proof that testifies to the direct participation of Britain in the organising of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta.’
He said that Britain had told the White Helmets, who act as first responders in rebel-held areas, to fake the suspected chemical attack in the town of Douma, but did not elaborate or provide evidence.
The White Helmets, officially known as Syria Civil Defence, is a humanitarian organisation made up of around 3,000 volunteers whose main activities are search-and-rescue operations after bombings, as well as supporting aid organisations and helping with evacuations.
They have previously been the target of smear campaigns online, which have been blamed on the Russian government.
Mr Konashenkov released statements by medics from Douma’s hospital, who said a group of people toting video cameras had entered the hospital, shouting that the patients had been struck with chemical weapons.
Pointing fingers: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also pointed a finger at the UK, saying the Douma attack was ‘staged’ by ‘a state at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign’
Mr Konashenkov’s statements from the medical staff said the cameramen had caused panic, and that none of the patients in the hospital were hurt by chemicals.
Earlier today, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also seemed to be pointing a finger of blame at the UK.
He 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.’
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump has been having discussions with both Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron regarding an international response to the attack on Saturday.
Both May and Trump have agreed that whatever the final decision on airstrikes, the Syrian regime must not go unchallenged following the attack which left at least 42 dead and hundreds injured in the city of Douma.
Mrs May won backing from her senior ministers on Thursday to take unspecified action with the United States and France to deter further use of chemical weapons by Syria.
Macron, meanwhile, said on Thursday that France had proof the Syrian government carried out the Douma attack and would decide whether to strike back when all necessary information had been gathered.