Russia: Aug. 21 Syria chemical attack was 'staged'

4:56 PM, Dec 16, 2013   |    comments
An Aug. 21 image, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man mourning over a dead body after an alleged poisonous gas attack by regime forces in Douma town, Damascus, Syria. (Photo: Media Office Of Douma City, AP)
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Russia is lashing out at the U.S. and its allies on the United Nations Security Council over who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria this year.

Russia's ambassador on Monday told the council that the dramatic Aug. 21 attack that led to Syria agreeing to give up its chemical stockpile was "staged" and a "large-scale provocation."

Vitaly Churkin compared it to the "manipulation of public opinion" that led up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He read reporters the statement he read to council members.

The current council president, French Ambassador Gerard Araud, told reporters only that members had an "acrimonious exchange."

A U.N. inspection team's final report last week said chemical weapons probably were used in Syria several times.

The team did not say who was responsible.

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