The Pentagon admits it used NGO reports on alleged recent chemical attacks in Syria and cannot confirm if they even took place. The lack of evidence, however, did not get in the way of the latest Russia blame game galore.
Russia was predictably the target of a barrage of accusations from the West after reports claimed that several people in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta, which is controlled by militant groups, suffered symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine gas on Sunday. The western media immediately took the opportunity to put the blame for what it called a suspected “chemical weapons attack” on the Syrian government and Moscow, which has been backing Bashar Assad’s forces in their fight against terrorist groups.
Western officials were quick to accuse Damascus of being behind the incident. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the West should not “stand idly by” if it is proven that the Syrian government launched this attack.
The reports conveniently arrived right after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. By sheer coincidence, it was supported by images from the White Helmets group, which has been plagued by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups.
On Tuesday, the US State Department bluntly accused Russia of “not supporting” the UN-backed ceasefire simply on the ground that it “continues to back” the Syrian government.
However, there was a slight problem in the US narrative when it came to actual facts. Responding to a comment request from RT, the Pentagon said it still has no verifiable evidence that a chemical attack actually took place in Ghouta.
“We are looking for evidence,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement to RT while acknowledging that the information it has so far comes solely from “the groups on the ground,” including the notorious White Helmets.'
Read more: Pentagon admits zero evidence of East Ghouta chem attack – but blames Russia all the same
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24 February 2019
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