Russia concerned by US unfounded claims of Damascus chemical attack plot – Foreign Ministry

Maria Zakharova, Director of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry's Department for Information and Press. Vladimir Pesnya/RIA Novosti

Washington’s claims that the Syrian government is preparing a chemical attack cause serious concerns in Moscow as the United States has not releasing the evidence on which the allegations are based, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the White House said that it had identified possible plans for a chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces, which were similar to the preparations allegedly made prior to 4 April chemical incident in Idlib. The United States warned that a chemical attack in Syria would result in the mass murder of civilians and said that Assad would “pay a heavy price,” if the attack occurs.

“Washington does not plan to release to the global community the information which can confirm the claims of the US side that the Syrian government is planning a chemical attack in Syria … From the past, we know that [former US President George W.] Bush’s regime did falsify the fact about the presence of weapons [that Iraq used] against its own people in order to carry out a military aggression against this country. This raises our serious concerns,” Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

Dozens of people were killed by a suspected chemical weapons attack in the of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province on 4 April. The country’s National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces backed by the United States blamed the incident on Assad’s forces.

On 6 April, Washington, which had not presented any proof of Damascus’ use of chemical weapons, launched a cruise missile strike on the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat in response to the alleged chemical incident. Syrian government authorities have denied any involvement in the incident, while Russia called for a proper investigation.

On Tuesday, the Kremlin warned of potential false flag chemical attacks in Syria.