08:23 GMT25 February 2021
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    Earlier, the US State Department had expressed concern about the reports of chemical weapons use in Douma that allegedly led to deaths of 40 people, claiming that Russia was accountable for targeting Syrians; the Russian military has refuted the allegations, saying they were aimed at disrupting of Jaysh al-Islam militants' evacuation from E Ghouta.

    "Hoaxes of attacks using chlorine or other poisonous substances by Syrian government forces are continuing to emerge. Another such hoax that has supposedly taken place is the alleged chemical attack in Douma yesterday. At the same time, references have been made to the notorious NGO "White Helmets," which has been repeatedly caught acting with terrorists, as well as other so-called humanitarian organizations based in the United Kingdom and the United States," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    The ministry went on to say that it had repeatedly warned about possible provocations involving the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Their major aim is to accuse Syrian government forces of chemical weapons use and justify possible military intervention in Syria from abroad, according to the ministry's statement.

    READ MORE: Russian MoD Releases PHOTOS of Devastating Raqqa Bombing by US-Led Coalition

    "It is necessary to warn once again that military intervention under far-fetched and fabricated pretexts in Syria, where the Russian servicemen are deployed at the request of the legitimate government, is absolutely unacceptable and might lead to very severe consequences," the statement said.

    This comes as several media outlets, citing Syrian militants, have accused Damascus of using chemical weapons in Douma. Jaysh al-Islam also claimed that government forces had dropped a chemical bomb on the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta. The US State Department has expressed its concern with the news, rushing to blame Russia "for the brutal targeting of countless Syrians."

    Syrian authorities and the Russian military have denied the reports. The Russian defense ministry said that Western countries and NGOs like the "White Helmets" are trying to undermine the evacuation of Jaysh al-Islam militants by resorting to allegations of chemical weapons use. Damascus has said it doesn't need chemical weapons to stop terrorists in Eastern Ghouta.

    The media has also reported Syrian army had discovered earlier a clandestine plant in Eastern Ghouta that was used by the terrorists to produce military-grade agents. Prior to the discovery, Syrian authorities had sent more than 100 letters to the UN Security Council confirming that terrorist groups own chemical substances that they use against civilians.


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