The Russian military has found zero trace of chemical weapons in Douma, the Syrian town which was allegedly targeted by an “attack”. Photos of victims posted by the White Helmets are fake, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.
Radiological, chemical and biological warfare experts, as well as medics, on Monday inspected the parts of the Eastern Ghouta city of Douma, where an alleged chemical attack supposedly took place on Saturday, the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria said in a statement. They found nothing.
“All the accusations brought by the White Helmets, as well as their photos… allegedly showing the victims of the chemical attack, are nothing more than a yet another piece of fake news and an attempt to disrupt the ceasefire,” the Reconciliation Center said.
Despite zero evidence of such an attack, US envoy Nikki Haley upped her shrill theatrics at the UN Security Council, launching an hysterical attack on Russia.
“We are beyond showing pictures of dead babies. We are beyond appeals to conscience. We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done,” Haley screamed during the Security Council on Monday, calling Syrian President Bashar Assad a “monster” and the UN a “complete failure to protect the people of Syria”.
“The Russian regime, whose hands are all covered with the blood of Syrian children, cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims. We’ve tried that before. No civilized government would have anything to do with Assad’s murderous regime,” Haley told the emergency gathering.
“Either way, the United States will respond,” she added.
Meanwhile, a Kremlin spokesperson expressed his shock at US President Donald Trump’s remarks about Syria’s legitimately elected president. Trump called Assad an “animal” on Twitter.
“Assad is a legitimate president of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. “It is hardly correct to use such insulting phrases in relation to another country’s legal president,” he added.
It has been reported by the New York Times that ISIS – not the Syrian government – has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulphur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
According to an independent analysis more than one-third of those chemical attacks took place in and around Mosul, an ISIS stronghold in northern Iraq, according to the assessment by the IHS Conflict Monitor.
The IHS findings are based on local news reports, social media and propaganda from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria itself.
With no evidence of a Syrian chemical attack, the United States is nevertheless getting ready to launch air strikes against Syria with a Tomahawk missile-armed destroyer already in place.
“The USS Donald Cook, a destroyer armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, has arrived off the coast of Syria, and is being harassed by low-flying Russian fighter jets,” tweeted Jacob Wohl, citing Turkish media reports.
The US destroyer is reportedly very close to the Russian naval base in Tartus and has been “in position for any military action within Syria”.
Sky News reporter Mark Austin, noted: “The tone of US Ambassador to UN suggests military strikes are a done deal. The problem is where that leads ? So many rival players, and interests. Hugely dangerous moment.”
An Israeli attack on Sunday has led to 8 cruise missiles being downed by Syrian Air Defense systems and the scrambling of Russian aircraft over the Mediterranean sea and Homs.
Ron Paul, former US Congressman, said ISIS was losing ground in Syria and counted on foreign support. “The facts are clear: ISIS is on the ropes. It controls no significant town or population center. It is holed up in the desert and is being eliminated by the Syrian government and its allies. Without foreign support, ISIS will never regain significant positions in Syria.”
Paul told RT in an interview: “Assad had no reason to launch an chemical attack, unlike those who want US involvement.”
Chemical weapons expert Åke Sellström, who investigated the use of chemical weapons in both Iraq and Syria, also believes that it is unlikely that Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian Army were responsible for such an attack in Eastern Ghouta.
“They do not need it, their tactics are already successful,” Sellström told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
Given that the Syrian Army was on the verge of declaring victory, it makes little sense that they would sabotage their own success.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a “tense” phone call with Trump just four days ago, according to two White House officials.
The conversation revolved around Netanyahu’s concerns that Trump said he would withdraw from Syria and allow Iran to gain a foothold there.
A White House statement released following the call said Netanyahu and Trump spoke about “recent developments in the Middle East,” and added that the president “reiterated the commitment of the United States to Israel’s security and the two leaders agreed to continue their close coordination on countering Iran’s malign influence and destabilizing activities”.
Trump said last week that the US was “coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now” before he made a 180 degree turn yet again.
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