Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

United Kingdom would consider cyber-attack on Russian Federation

United Kingdom would consider cyber-attack on Russian Federation

While the United Kingdom and USA have been quick to point fingers in the direction of the Kremlin, the Russia Embassy has denied any involvement and has slammed the "accusations" as "striking examples of a reckless, provocative and unfounded policy against Russia".

Investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have not yet gained access to Douma, where the deadly attack occurred a week ago, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said. Russian Federation and the Syrian government have denied a chemical weapons attack took place, instead claiming the attack had been staged by the White Helmets, a self-purported Syria civil defense group hailed as heroes in the western world, but who supporters of the Syrian government claim act as civil defense for Islamist rebel groups operating under the auspices of being "moderate rebels".

On the air strikes, he repeated the Russian assertion that two-thirds of the more than 100 missiles fired into Syria on Saturday had failed to reach their targets.

"The U.S. needs to keep in mind not only the adversarial position of Russia, which of course is the case, but the Russian nuclear potential..."

The inspectors aim to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to determine whether banned toxic munitions were used, although they are not permitted to assign blame for the attack.

Russian Federation claims the air defenses it has installed across Syria were able to intercept 71 of the 103 cruise missiles launched on Friday night, including S-125, S-200, Buk, and Kvadrat systems.

"I call on the authorities for a swift and thorough investigation", he said on Twitter Monday. This was at the very beginning after this information [of the attack] appeared.

Mr Lavrov also questioned why the US, UK and France had carried out their retaliatory air strikes before OPCW inspectors were able to visit the site. "Therefore allegations of this towards Russian Federation are groundless", Peskov said.

Speaking at a Monday news conference, French President Emmanuel Macron said the operation in Syria was "responding to the evidence collected on the ground that chemical weapons were used against the civilian population by Bashar Assad's regime".

The Russian foreign minister again denied the use of chemical weapons in Douma on 7 April. So-called Islamic State do not have a presence in Douma and the opposition does not use helicopters, she said.

USA intelligence agencies previous year accused Russian Federation of interfering in the 2016 election with a hacking and propaganda campaign supporting Donald Trump's campaign for president.

Members of the 41-seat executive council of the OPCW were due to discuss the alleged use of prohibited toxins in Syria, but were not expected to reach any agreement about a response.

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