As the blame game over the alleged chemical attack in Syria escalates ahead of what is expected to be an imminent, if contained, air strike campaign by the US, UK and/or France against Syria, on Friday morning, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow had “irrefutable evidence” that the attack – which allegedly killed more than 40 people in an April 7 chemical weapons strike on the former rebel outpost of Douma -was staged with the help of a foreign secret service.
“We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign was involved in this staged event,” he said during a press conference according to AFP.
Speculation that said “certain state” was the UK was confirmed shortly after, when Russia’s defense ministry alleged that Britain was involved in the suspected chemical attack. According to defense ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Kremlin has evidence that Britain was behind the attack.
Quoted by Reuters, he said: “We have… evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organising this provocation.”
As RT further adds, the Russian Defense Ministry presented what it says is “proof that the reported chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged.”
It also accused the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the “provocation.” During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
In the interviews released to the media, the two men reported how footage was shot of people dousing each other with water and treating children, which was claimed to show the aftermath of the April 7 chemical weapons attack. The patients shown in the video suffered from smoke poisoning and the water was poured on them by their relatives after a false claim that chemical weapons were used, the ministry said.
“Please, notice. These people do not hide their names. These are not some faceless claims on the social media by anonymous activists. They took part in taking that footage,” said Konashenkov.
China Readies Drills To ‘Simulate An Invasion Of Taiwan’
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has launched a six-day, live-fire military exercise in the East China Sea in a region that simulates an invasion of Taiwan, a move military strategist believe will send a powerful message to the United States over relations with Taipei.
Geopolitical intelligence analysts told the South China Morning Post that the exercise is part of Beijing’s effort to increase military readiness and defend the “one China” policy, under which leaked documents specify Beijing has asecret plan to invade Taiwan by 2020.
The exercise began on Wednesday at 8:00 am and is expected to conclude at 6:00 pm on July 23. All non-military vessels are prohibited from entering the designated live-fire drill area and must follow the guidance of guard ships to ensure safety, stated a public notice released by Zhejiang Maritime Safety Administration on Monday.
The exercise’s coordinates below provided by the administration shows the drill spans from the shores of Zhoushan, East China’s Zhejiang Province to sea areas east of Wenzhou, also in Zhejiang Province.
The exercise is intended to warn the “Taiwan independence” forces, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
“The drill’s main objective is to send a serious warning to Taiwan separatists,” Song said.
An unnamed military expert also told the Global Times on Tuesday that parts of the East China Sea will be “the main battlefield” if a conflict breaks out in the future.
“The PLA Air Force and Navy have been frequently conducting island encirclement exercises. The drill this time will add up and form a military deterrence of high pressure against the Taiwan separatists,” according to Song.
Trump Appreciates Navy Grads By Shaking All Their Hands
ou usually don’t expect commencement speakers to stick around long after the speech is over, especially not when the speaker is the president.
However, when the venue is the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, things are a bit different. And, when the president is Donald Trump, things are a lot different.
In fact, he not only stuck around to shake hands with each and every grad following his commence address on Friday, he actually asked them whether he could do it.
“I was given an option. I could make this commencement address, which is a great honor for me, and immediately leave and wave goodbye,” Trump asked the audience. “Or I could stay and shake hands with just the top 100. Or I could stay for hours and shake hands with 1,100 and something. What should I do? What should I do?”
Well, stay, of course. And stay he did.
During the speech itself, the president gave a rousing tribute both to the graduates themselves and to the American spirit.
“Four years ago, each of you made the most important decision of your lives,” the president told the graduates. “You chose the path of hard work, sweat, and sacrifice. You chose the life of honor, courage, and commitment. You chose to serve the nation and defend our great American flag. You chose the Navy, blue and gold, from the first moments of induction day.”
China Is Circling Taiwan In Military Drills
Zerohedge Reports: It is an uncomfortable time for Taiwan. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began a dangerous “island encirclement” war drill around the country, which on Friday saw bombers and fighter jets simulating strikes on Taiwanese targets for the first time. It seems as Beijing will not wait for reunification; it wishes to intimidate the island into submission beforehand.
It is an uncomfortable time for Taiwan. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began a dangerous “island encirclement” war drill around the country, which on Friday saw bombers and fighter jets simulating strikes on Taiwanese targets for the first time. It seems as Beijing will not wait for reunification; it wishes to intimidate the island into submission beforehand.
China’s air force carried out an operation in its eastern and southern theaters, dispatching bombers and reconnaissance planes around Taiwan on Friday. It was the first time for Su-35 fighter jets to fly over the Bashi Channel in formation with H-6K bombers, a spokesperson said. (Source: People’s Daily, China)
Defense experts told the South China Morning Post that China’s military would increase pressure on Taiwan, with more war drills designed to send a warning message to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“To reinforce the warning to Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, the mainland military would conduct targeted joint operational drills involving ground forces, the navy and the air force to strengthen its presence in the Taiwan Strait,” Song Zhongping, a former member of the PLA’s second artillery corps, the rocket wing’s predecessor.