A provocation with an alleged chemical weapons use in Syria, which terrorists are plotting to stage with the assistance of UK special services, will serve as a pretext for missile strikes by the West and the United States against the Arab country, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.

According to the Russian general, the provocation will be staged by terrorists of the Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham terrorist organization (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra outlawed in Russia) and for this purpose containers with chlorine have been brought to the Idlib province.

“The staging of this provocation with the active participation of the UK special services is set to serve as a new pretext for missile and bomb strikes by the United States, Great Britain and France against Syria’s government and economic facilities,” the spokesman said.

For this purpose, “the US Navy’s destroyer Sullivans with 56 cruise missiles on its board arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago while a B-1B strategic bomber of the US Air Force armed with AGM-158 JASSM air-to-surface missiles was redeployed to the Al Udeid air base in Qatar,” the Russian general said.

“Absolutely unfounded statements made by some high officials of the United States, Great Britain and France on Wednesday, August 22, about their intention to respond in the most resolute way to the alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian government” can serve as an indirect confirmation of the preparations by the United States and its allies for a new act of aggression against Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

“Therefore, the actions by Western countries contrary to public statements are aimed at another dramatic escalation of the situation in the Middle East and at disrupting the peace process on the territory of Syria,” the Russian general stressed.

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