Blame game: Moscow says more chemical attacks planned against Syria
Russia has data that new provocations are planned in Syria with the goal of putting the blame on Damascus for allegedly using chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters after talks with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella on April 11, TASS reports.
"We have information from different sources that these provocations - I cannot call them otherwise - are being prepared in other regions of Syria, including in the southern suburbs of Damascus where there are plans to throw some substance and accuse the official Syrian authorities," Putin said.
The Russian president has called to carry out a thorough investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib on April 4.
"We plan to turn to the United Nations bodies in The Hague and call on the global community to thoroughly investigate into this incident and make balanced decisions based on the investigation’s outcome," the Russian leader added.
"This [the US strike on Syria] strongly reminds of the 2003 events when U.S. representatives in the UN Security Council showed allegedly chemical weapons found in Iraq," the Russian president said.
"After that, a military campaign started in Iraq and it ended with the destruction of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the emergence of the ISIS on the international scene, no more and no less," Putin said. "The same is happening now," the Russian president said.
On April 7, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered strikes on Syria’s Shayrat military air base located in the Homs Governorate. The attack, involving 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. The Syrian military denied its involvement in the attack.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said that on April 4, the Syrian Air Force delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of the town of Khan Shaykhun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical bombs. These bombs were sent to Iraq and were previously used in Aleppo. Moscow considered the attack as an act of aggression against a sovereign state.