Syria air strikes: Russia ‘not tampering’ with chemical attack site

Latest news

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionWatch the key moments over 12 hours – in two minutes

    Russia has denied interfering with evidence at the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria which led to Saturday’s military intervention by the US, the UK and France.

    In an interview for BBC’s Hardtalk, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site.”

    He spoke as the OPCW chemical weapons watchdog held an urgent meeting.

    Inspectors in Syria have still not gained access to Douma, it is reported.

    The UK ambassador to the OPCW, Peter Wilson, quoted the organisation’s director-general as saying they were still waiting.

    The meeting in The Hague is behind closed doors, but Reuters quoted the American ambassador, Kenneth Ward, as expressing concern the Russian forces there may have tampered with evidence.

    What else did Mr Lavrov say?

    The Russian foreign minister again denied the use of chemical weapons in Douma on 7 April.

    “I cannot be impolite with the heads of other states, but you quoted the leaders of France and the UK and US and, frankly speaking, all the evidence they quoted was based on media reports and social media.”

    The event did not take place, he said. “What did take place was the staged thing,” he added.

    Mr Lavrov also questioned why the US and its allies carried out air strikes the day before international inspectors were due to arrive at the site.

    On the air strikes, he repeated the Russian assertion that two-thirds of the more than 100 missiles fired into Syria on Saturday failed to reach their targets.

    Mr Lavrov said that the “deconfliction channel” to prevent a clash between US and Russian forces had done its job and a confrontation had not been close.

    Catch up on the strikes:

    What else is happening today?

    What was targeted on Saturday?

    Three sites – the Barzeh complex, which the US says is a centre for development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, although Syria denies this.

    The other two were suspected chemical weapons facilities at Him Shinshar near Homs.

    Image copyright AFP
    Image caption The Barzeh complex appears completely destroyed

    The US said 105 missiles were launched and it believed none were intercepted by Syrian defences. It said Syria’s chemical weapons programme had been set back years.

    The Russians said 71 missiles were shot down by Syrian systems.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43783427

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43783427

    In the same category are

    Reality Check: What would a ‘no deal’ Brexit look like? Image copyright Getty Images "No deal" can be a confusing term in the Brexit debate because there are, in fact, several potential deals waiting to b...
    Trump ‘secretly recorded discussing payment to Playboy model’ Image copyright Dimitrios Kambouris Image caption Karen McDougal says she was tricked into staying silent about the alleged affair US President Do...
    UK weather: Driest start to summer on modern record Image copyright PA Image caption North-west England is set for a hosepipe ban due to low reservoir levels After weeks of hot and sunny weather, it...
    Novichok victim Charlie Rowley leaves hospital Image copyright AFP Image caption Charlie Rowley collapsed in his home in Amesbury after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok Novichok victim...
    Thai cave: Artists’ huge mural honours rescue heroes A giant mural entitled The Heroes has been created in Chiang Rai, Thailand, to honour the rescue operation that saved 12 young footballers and their c...
    Home Office: ‘Child spies used against crime when necessary’ Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The government wants to increase the amount of time under-18s can be used undercover Children are used ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.