Russia claims it has 'proof' Britain staged Syria chemical gas attack
The Russian military on Friday said it had proof that a chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma was staged on orders from London.
The alleged chemical attack took place in rebel-held Douma near Damascus on 7 April and killed up to 60 people, sparking international outrage and warnings of possible military action.
Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the military had "proof that testifies to the direct participation of Britain in the organising of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta."
He said Britain had told the White Helmets, who act as first responders in rebel-held areas, to fake the suspected chemical attack in the town of Douma, but didn't elaborate or provide evidence.
London put "powerful pressure" on the civil defence organisation, Konashenkov said.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had claimed that Moscow had "irrefutable" evidence that the deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma was staged with the help of a foreign secret service.
It comes as London has blamed Moscow for a nerve agent attack on a former double agent and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury last month.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters have consistently claimed that chemical and other attacks were in fact staged, and that an army of actors including children has been trained to fake injury on a massive scale.
The Syrian regime has repeatedly used chemical weapons during the war, with Human Rights Watch claiming Assad's forces were responsible for the majority of 85 confirmed chemical weapons attacks.
In 2013, up to 1,400 people were killed in two chemical weapons attacks on the opposition-controlled Damascus suburbs of Eastern and Western Ghouta.
A team of UN chemical weapons inspectors confirmed that the nerve agent sarin was used in the attack, which was the "most significant confirmed use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein used them" in Halabja in 1988.