Russia: chlorine gas from Germany found in Syria's Ghouta
Zakharova argued that the U.S.-led strikes were done with the intention to “let the extremists catch their breath."
The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova has said that Syrian military forces have found chlorine gas and smoke barrel containers from Germany and the United Kingdom in Syria's Eastern Ghouta.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, Zakharova said: “Syrian government troops have found containers with chlorine, the most deadly chemical weapon, brought from Germany, along with smoke barrels made in the city called – guess where – Salisbury in the United Kingdom.”
She also pointed out that Russia had previously said that their intelligence had indicated a possible false flag chemical weapons attack previously: “Both Russia and Syria have repeatedly announced the existence of data suggesting that militants were preparing a provocation with chemical weapons, about clandestine labs producing all the kinds of weaponry being discovered in Eastern Ghouta's liberated areas. All this information was sent, is being sent and will be sent to the OPCW, but it still remains unnoticed by the West, the Western mainstream media, which do everything to ignore it.”
Zakharova argued that the U.S.-led strikes were done with the intention to “let the extremists catch their breath, restore their ranks and prolong the bloodshed on Syrian soil,” referring to “rebel groups” such as the Jaish al-Islam.
A resident of Douma, the site of the alleged attack, told Ruptly that the situation has improved drastically since the Syrian Arab Army retook the area from rebels: "No one was able to walk in the streets before, and no one had food. Now we can go and anyone from the Syrian Arab Army will offer you anything you demand. We are happy now, and our faces know how to be happy, while before if you asked for food the militants would say: 'we don't have any' but their stores were full."
On April 7, a number of NGOs such as the controversial White Helmets as well as rebel groups such as Jaish al-Islam reported a chemical weapons attack. The United States, France and the United Kingdom launched airstrikes on Damascus with the intention of destroying alleged chemical weapon production facilities, although the international team to investigate the alleged chemical attack had not yet arrived and evidence had not been publicly presented.