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Iran Press TV

Accusations of Russian war crimes in Syria 'part of media war'

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 19 May 2020 3:05 PM

Russia says allegations that the Russian military has committed war crimes in Syria are part of a "media war" on Moscow and are based on information from unidentified, unreliable sources.

Vasily Nebenzya, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations (UN), made the remark in an interview with Russia's Kommersant business daily on Monday.

"There are many things we are accused of. Not only as concerns Syria. Regretfully, this is part of a war. A media war," Nebenzya said, referring to accusations against Russian armed forces and alleged rights violations asserted by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

Nebenzya said that the Russian foreign and defense ministries had repeatedly refuted the allegations.

"The evidential base of these accusations is unidentified sources. In fact, these sources are familiar – experts in fakes from the White Helmets organization and others like them," the Russian envoy said.

The so-called White Helmets, purporting to be civil defense activists in Syria, are known for their coordination with terrorist outfits in Syria to carry out staged chemical attacks to falsely incriminate Syrian government forces and invent pretexts for the United States to attack Syrian government positions.

Back in April 2018, the United States, Britain, and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack on the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital, Damascus.

Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the Douma attack, an allegation rejected by the Syrian government, which said the White Helmets had staged the false-flag operation to frame the Syrian government.

Syria surrendered its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the United States and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry.

The US-backed White Helmets, operating solely in areas controlled by anti-government groups in Syria, are reported to have links to the al-Nusra Front terrorists.

In November last year, a survey by a Russian institution revealed that the White Helmets had been involved in the forcible removal of organs from civilians living in areas controlled by militants.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The government has been able to subdue the militants in almost the entire country.

In 2015, Russia, an ally of Damascus, launched an aerial campaign in support of the Syrian army that helped tilt the fighting in favor of the elected Syrian government.

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