Goal of Syria strikes was to prevent chemical watchdog's fact-finding mission in Douma – Moscow

Goal of Syria strikes was to prevent chemical watchdog's fact-finding mission in Douma – Moscow

The US and its allies attacked Syria in order to hamper the work of the OPCW inspectors, investigating the alleged chemical attack in Douma, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The “intimidation act” by the US, UK, and France was carried out “under an absolutely far-fetched pretext of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7,” the ministry said in a statement.

The airstrikes were carried out hours before inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were to start their fact-finding mission at the site. “There’s every reason to believe that the purpose of the attack on Syria was to obstruct the work of the OPCW inspectors,” the statement read.

Moscow pointed out that the Western allies ignored evidence provided by Syria and Russia that the alleged chemical attack was actually staged in a “cynical” manner.

“The aggression was undertaken at a time when the Syrian troops are continuing their successful offensive against IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS], Jabhat al-Nusra, and other terrorist groups. All facts point to the desire of the US and its allies to provide the radicals and extremists with an opportunity to gather their breath, restore their ranks, drag out the bloodshed on Syrian soil and thereby complicate the political settlement,” the ministry said.

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