Russian Federation driving huge online 'disinformation' campaign on Syria gas attack, says UK


"At Site 2, the team came under small-arms fire and an explosive was detonated". "They were not injured and returned to Damascus".

The United States, Britain and France fired missiles at Syrian targets on Saturday in retaliation for the suspected chemical use.

The U.S. -led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Assad's supremacy and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Assad.

He told reporters that in the past Syrian officials concealed what they had done with chemical weapons.

Separately, government social media experts have documented more than 45,000 posts propagating disinformation narratives in the two weeks since the Syria attack on 7 April, with a potential reach of about 20 million social media users.

"In Syria, a risky pattern of behaviour has developed in which chemical weapons. are being used by the Assad regime against its own people in the most abhorrent way imaginable".

The OPCW team will seek evidence from soil samples, interviews with witnesses, blood, urine or tissue samples from victims and weapon parts. If true, finding incriminating evidence would be that much harder.

"It was a message from the people", said the official.

The US, France and Britain "on 14 April bombed not only made-up chemical sites in Syria, but also bombed the (UN-backed peace) talks in Geneva", Sergei Lavrov said following a meeting in Moscow with United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Douma was the last town to hold out in the besieged Eastern Ghouta enclave, the last big rebel bastion near the capital Damascus.

"On arrival at Site 1, a large crowd gathered and the advice provided by the UNDSS [U.N. Department of Safety and Security] was that the reconnaissance team should withdraw", the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Uzumcu said Wednesday.

Britain's Ambassador Peter Wilson said at a news conference in The Hague that the United Nations had cleared the inspectors to go but they had been unable to reach Douma because Syria and Russian Federation had been unable to guarantee their safety. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said there was no indication the Assad regime was preparing to launch another chemical weapons attack.