A propaganda campaign to blame Syria’s government for alleged use of chemical weapons has begun, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has warned, adding that the effort is expected to be massive and include “many fakes.”
“As we warned a few days ago, a media propaganda campaign on the ‘use of chemical weapons by Damascus’ has begun,” Zakharova wrote on Facebook.
Zakharova’s post was accompanied by a screenshot from a video being shared on social media allegedly showing a hospital in eastern Ghouta. The speaker in the video claims the people he is filming have been affected by “chlorine gas used by the regime.”
“There will be more of such videos, and they will be of different quality – either low-grade, like this one or of Hollywood level. There will be many fakes, the planned campaign is a massive one,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.
On Saturday, a Syrian rebel group accused government forces of using chlorine gas against its fighters east of Damascus.
A Reuters report cited a militant group called Failaq al-Rahman which alleged that more than 30 people had “suffered suffocation as a result of the attack in Ain Tarma in the eastern Ghouta region.”
The Syrian army command denied the allegations in a statement run by state media saying that the army “has not used any chemical weapons in the past, and will not use them at any time.”
Syria also dismissed a report from the UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on a chemical incident in the town of Idlib in April as one-sided, lacking evidence, and aimed at encouraging terrorists, as they are being defeated in many parts of Syria.
An OPCW report therefore “comes up with a fabricated and contrived narrative that has no credibility and cannot be accepted in any manner, because it is removed from logic and is concocted by a twisted imagination that only thinks about weaving conspiracies,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry’s Saturday statement said, as cited by Syria’s state SANA news agency.