"According to the obtained information, a preparation for organizing a provocation with the use of the sarin poisonous chemical is being carried out in the Al Magarah settlement [the Idlib province], in a big technological building. The shells with this poisonous gas are presumably held in this storage," the source said.
"There are reasons to believe that this provocation will be committed in the settlements of Khan Sheikhoun and Kefraya. Its goal is to discredit the Syrian government and to wreck the Astana negotiation process scheduled for July 4-5," the source added.
Earlier this week, the White House claimed that a new attack involving chemical weapons was in the works by the Syrian government, however, declined to present any evidence. Washington vowed to make Syrian authorities "pay a heavy price" in case of chemical weapons use. The Kremlin commented on the White House's claim and said that it considers US' threats against Syrian legitimate leadership to be "unacceptable." Damascus also denied the information.
Damascus has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident and said that the Syrian government doesn't possess chemical weapons as the full destruction of Damascus’ chemical weapons stockpile had been confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in January 2016.
In an interview with Sputnik on April 21, Assad characterized the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun as a provocation to justify the US strike on Ash Sha’irat. The Syrian leader also warned of the possibility of the new provocations similar to the one in Khan Sheikhoun.