With Rex Tillerson on his way to Russia, moments ago Russian president Vladimir Putin shocked reporters when he said that Russia has received intelligence from “trusted sources” that more attacks using chemical weapons are being prepared on the Damascus region, meant to pin the blame on the Assad government.
“We have information from various sources that such provocations — and I cannot call them anything else — are being prepared in other regions of Syria, including in the southern suburbs of Damascus, where they intend to plant some substance and blame the official Syrian authorities for its use,” Putin told a briefing.
Russian President Putin announced that Russia will officially turn to the UN in the Hague for an investigation of the chemical weapons’ use in Idlib. Moscow has dismissed suggestions that the Syrian government that it backs could be behind the attack in Idlib province.
“All incidents reminiscent of the ‘chemical attacks’ that took place in Idlib must be thoroughly investigated,” Putin said.
Putin also pointed out that the latest US missile strikes in Syria bring to mind the United States’ UN Security Council address in 2003 that led to the invasion of Iraq, an address which has now been thoroughly debunked as using flawed information to garner global support for an invasion.
“We discussed the situation with President [ of Italy Sergio Mattarella] and I told him that these events strongly resemble the events of 2003,” Putin said at a briefing, outlining the prelude to the US intervention in Iraq.
The Russian president also slammed the Idlib attack, officially denouncing it as a “false flag” attack.
Putin also said that there is no meeting with Tillerson currently on his schedule.
Following Putin’s presser, Russian General Staff released a statement announcing that it has information of militants bringing poisonous substances to areas of Khan Shaykhun, West of Aleppo and Eastern Guta in Syria.
Chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said that the militants are trying to provoke new accusations targeted at Syrian government for alleged use of chemical weapons. The militants aim to incite the US to conduct new strikes, Rudskoy warned, adding that such measures are impermissible. He said that according to the Russian general staff new US airstrikes in Syria are unacceptable and that the Syrian forces posses no chemical weapons.
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