Russian Denials and Accusations

Russia continues to deny that a chemical attack was carried out by its Syrian allies, despite the abundant evidence of the attack on the town of Douma and the international outcry that has followed.

Children affected by the attackChildren suffering the effects of a suspected gas attack in Douma. (Photo: UOSSM)

Yet Russia was quick to accuse Israel of conducting this morning’s attack on an airbase in Syria – the airbase from which the chemical attack on Douma is thought to have been launched.

Russia’s involvement in the accusations over responsibility was unprecedented and represents a further escalation in the tensions in the area.

Initially their Syrian allies accused the USA of launching the attack on their airbase, but after denials by both the USA and France, they concluded that Israel must have attacked it. As usual the Israelis have stayed silent about who is responsible.

It seems that the Russians are angry that the Israelis did not forewarn them of the strike, and that it thus posed a potential risk to Russian military personnel in Syria.

The main comment emerging from Israel is a simple one reported on the Times of Israel’s live blog. It quoted Benjamin Netanyahu as saying:

“We have a simple rule that we constantly express: Get up and hurt those trying to hurt you,”

And the Israelis are not alone in wanting to take action. During a confrontational session of the UN Security Council on Monday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said that Washington was ready to ‘respond’ to the attack regardless of whether the Security Council acted. She said:

"We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done."


This article was first published on 9th April and updated on 10th April.