Syria attack 'fabricated', Russia says

Sergei Lavrov.
Sergei Lavrov. Photo credit: Reuters

Russia's Foreign Minister on Friday asserted that a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend was fabricated with the help of an unspecified foreign intelligence agency.

Sergey Lavrov said Russian experts had inspected the site of the alleged attack in Douma, just east of Damascus, and found no trace of chemical weapons. He says Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication, and intelligence agencies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russo-phobic campaign were involved in that fabrication".

He did not elaborate or name the state.

The attack has drawn international outrage and prompted the United States and its allies to consider a military strike on Syria, something Moscow has strongly warned against.

"God forbid anything adventurous will be done in Syria following the Libyan and Iraqi experience," Mr Lavrov said.

He said even the smallest miscalculation in Syria could lead to new waves of migrants and that ultimatums and threats do not help the dialogue.

Trump getting up on the wrong side of the bed?

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich says international relations should not depend on the mood of one person when he wakes up in the morning, in apparent reference to US President Donald Trump, RIA news agency reports.

In an early-morning tweet on Wednesday, Mr Trump warned that missiles "will be coming" in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces.

Russia is Syria's most important military ally in the country's civil war.

"We cannot depend on the mood of someone on the other side of the ocean when he wakes up, on what a specific person takes into his head in the morning," Mr Dvorkovich said at a forum in Krasnoyarsk, according to the TASS news agency.

"We cannot take such risks."

In another tweet on Thursday, Mr Trump appeared to cast doubt on at least the timing of any US-led military action.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" it said.

He met his national security team on the situation in Syria later in the day and "no final decision has been made," the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

APTN/Reuters