Russian Foreign Ministry Remarks on US Claims of a Chemical Weapons Attack

We have noted the statements made in Washington on May 21, some at official levels, about new signs that the Bashar Assad regime may be using chemical weapons in northwestern Syria. This information has already been refuted by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

First of all, we believe that this is most likely another staged performance by the militants from the armed Syrian opposition in the town of Kabbani in northern Latakia. The information itself was posted on the internet resources of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group. These sound like dubious sources of information to prompt official statements by a UN Security Council member state.

We regret to say that these insinuations on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus against their own people have become an integral part of NATO policy in Syria and in the Middle East. Instead of making efforts to assist in the political settlement of the internal Syrian conflict involving all the warring parties, the West opts for the continuous destabilisation of the region.

Amid the opinionated statements from the United States accusing the Syrian authorities of the alleged regular use of chemical weapons, Washington and its allies are openly showing they are ready to “immediately and appropriately respond” to such informational fraud. We know very well what this means – in violation of the UN Charter and generally recognised norms of international law, they have twice launched missile strikes at Syrian territory in the interests of the armed Syrian opposition as well as the international extremist and terrorist groups operating in this sovereign state.

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 23, 2019