The Russian military accused Britain Friday of staging and directing the apparent chemical attack in Syria last weekend.
Britain was “directly involved in the provocation,” said Major General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.
The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting after volunteer first responders and activists said at least 40 men, women, and children died the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma from what was reportedly a nerve agent.
Britain and the U.S. have said they have proof that the attack occurred. The international community pointed fingers at Russia for failing to curtail chemical-weapons use by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime.
Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, flatly denied Russia’s accusation.
“Britain has no involvement and would never have any involvement in the use of a chemical weapon,” she stated, calling Russia’s suggestion to the contrary “bizarre” and “a blatant lie.” She added that it was one of the “worst piece[s] of fake news we’ve yet seen from the Russia propaganda machine.”
President Trump and U.S. allies, especially Britain and France, are considering their response to the Douma attack. A year ago, the president ordered a missile strike on Syria in response to a similar chemical attack that gruesome photos showed killed many children.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador Vassily Nebenzia warned the White House against military action in Syria, saying it is “unworthy” of the U.S. “to saber rattle,” and that military action would be “fraught with grave repercussions for global security.”
“We know who did this. Our allies know who did this. Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the Security Council’s emergency meeting.