10:42 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Accusations by Western countries of Syrian government troops in the use of chemical weapons are aimed at stopping the successful advance of the counter-terrorist operation by Russian Aerospace Forces, Riyad Haddad, Syrian envoy to Russia, said.

    "As soon as we have begun finishing work with radical groups, the second stage of aggression was launched by the United States and its satellites with a contrived pretext, declaring that our government used chemical weapons. This is done to undermine the success that has been achieved with the participation of the RAF in the liberation of our territory.," said Syrian Ambassador to Russia, Riyad Haddad during the meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the Russian Federation Council.

    Haddad stressed that the Syrian Armed Forces will "grab" the victory.

    READ MORE: Russian FM Lavrov Slams US Threats to Strike Syria as 'Unacceptable'

    Syrian authorities have been repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons against civilians in the conflict that began in 2011. However, no substantial evidence has been provided on the matter.

    Responding to the US accusations of chemical weapons use in Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian Foreign Ministry have called them groundless, adding that Damascus strongly condemned such statements.

    Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that investigators were looking into reports that the Syrian government used sarin gas in chemical attacks, but there is no evidence of the gas having been used so far.

    On January 26, the White Helmets, a Syrian opposition civil defense group serving in militant-held areas, reported that three civilians had been killed and dozens more were wounded in an alleged chlorine gas attack on Eastern Ghouta.
    The same day, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert condemned the Syrian authorities for staging this attack, which was furiously rejected by Damascus.


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    chemical weapons, Russian Aerospace Forces, Riyad Haddad, Konstantin Kosachev, Syria, Russia
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