03:16 GMT +321 July 2018
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    A child runs along a street in front of clouds of smoke billowing following a reported air strike on Douma, the main town of Syria's rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta

    Russian MoD Accuses West of Curbing Syrian Army's Op Amid Chemical Attack Claims

    © AFP 2018 / Hasan Mohamed
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    The Syrian government has denied allegations of having used chemical weapons in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, saying it doesn't need such measures to stop the terrorists.

    The Russian Defense Ministry has also denied reports of an alleged chemical bomb being dropped on Douma, suggesting that a number of Western states as well as NGOs like the White Helmets have turned to such claims in order to undermine the evacuation of Jaish al-Islam terrorists from the area.

    "We strongly deny these claims and announce our readiness to send Russian experts in radiation, chemical and biological defense to Douma after its liberation from terrorists to gather evidence, which would prove that the allegations on the chemical weapons use were staged," said Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, commander of the Russian Center for Syria reconciliation.

    According to the statement, issued by the Syrian authorities on the state-run SANA news agency, such claims have been made by terrorists and are aimed at hindering Syrian forces, which have made “a swift and determined advance” and do not need such measures to deter the terrorists.

    "The chemical fabrications, which did not serve the terrorists and their sponsors in Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta, will not serve them today either, as the Syrian state is determined to end terrorism in every square inch of Syrian territory," read the statement.

    READ MORE: State Dept Says Dozens May Have Been Killed in Syrian Douma by Chemical Weapons

    SANA, citing an official source, reported that some media outlets, affiliated with the Jaish al-Islam terrorist group, positioned in its last stronghold in Douma, had reiterated the allegations of chemical attack in order to blame it on the Syrian Arab army and hinder the forces’ advance.

    The US State Department has voiced concern about the reports of chemical weapons being used in Douma, suggesting that Russia was accountable for the brutal targeting of countless Syrians.

    "We have seen multiple, very disturbing reports this afternoon regarding another possible CW attack near a hospital in Douma, Syria. Reports from a number of groups and medical personnel on the ground indicate at least 40 killed and hundreds injured, with many more families, including children, hiding in shelters but believed to be dead," the State Department’s representative told Sputnik.

    Washington has also accused Damascus of chemical weapons use, alleging that “history” of such weapons being used by the country’s government was “not in dispute.”

    Earlier, several media outlets had cited militants in Syria accusing the authorities in Damascus of using chemical weapons in Douma, with Jaish al-Islam claiming that the government forces had dropped a chemical bomb on Eastern Ghouta.

    Last month, Damascus reported that several foreign experts were working on staging a chemical attack, which would be carried out with the help of the infamous White Helmets and would be covered by mainstream media. The same warning was issued by the Russian Center for Syria reconciliation in January.

    READ MORE: Russian Military: Terrorists Planning Chemical Attack on E Ghouta Residents

    The Syrian government has consistently denied all claims of chemical weapons use, arguing that the country’s stockpiles had been destroyed, which has been confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

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    Tags:
    Islamist militants, terrorist, Jaish al-Islam, Eastern Ghouta, Syria
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