US Looking at Options in Case No Evidence of Chemical Attack in Syria Is Found — Diplomat
The United States and its allies are looking at further possible actions in case reports on the use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces are proved to be false, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin said on Monday.
"The US ambassador said that Russian experts had visited the site of the presumable chemical attack and cleaned up something there to help the Syrians cover up the tracks," he said after the OPCW Executive Council session. "We consider that as a clumsy attempt to cushion the blow in case it turns out that they have lied about what had actually happened."
"Our American partners look to be nervous, in frenzied effort to find anything that could justify their steps in case their allegations about the use of chemical weapons in Syria prove to be false," Shulgin stressed.
"They are probably afraid that experts on the ground may refute their false theory that was used as a pretext for a strike on helpless Syria," he added.
On April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom delivered a massive strike on Syrian targets in bypassing of the United Nations Security Council. According to the Russian defense ministry, the missile strike was in the small hours on Saturday. The ministry reported that a total of 103 cruise and air-to-surface missiles had been fired, 71 of them were shot down by Syria’s air defense units. Three civilians were wounded. Neither of the missiles appeared in the zone of responsibility of Russian air defense systems in Tartus and Hmeymim. Russian missile defense systems were not used.
The United States, the UK and France said the strikes had been a response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma.