"I want to emphasize that on April 9, a day after the alleged chemical attack in the Douma, Russian military specialists in the field of radiation, chemical and biological defense, as well as military doctors arrived directly to the site of the alleged incident," First Deputy Head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznihir said.
He noted that the experts "took soil samples, collected fragments from the so-called place of the alleged chemical weapons attack," stressing that their expertise "showed the absence of nerve agents and chlorine-containing poisonous substances."
"As a result of the examination of the territory, the visit to the medical facility shown on the set of the White Helmets, the interview of the medical staff and the patients, neither facts of the use of poisonous substances nor injured among the inhabitants of this city were detected," he stressed.
The First Deputy Head specified Moscow's steps to ensure security in the area amid the standoff over the alleged chemical attack, by saying that the Russian military police will be deployed in the Syrian town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta on April 12.
"Starting tomorrow, in order to ensure security, maintain law and order and organize assistance to the local population units of the Russian military police will be deployed in the town of Douma," Poznikhir said.
Situation in Eastern Ghouta: Hazram Poisonous Substances Workshop
"One such example (on the provocations) was the discovery on March 3 of one of the underground tunnels in the town of Hazram, which turned out to be a militant workshop of for the backyard production of explosives with poisonous substances," he said.
He stressed that the residents of Eastern Ghouta were provided with the necessary humanitarian assistance, both through the United Nations and the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation.
In January, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation reported that Syrian terrorists were preparing provocations involving chemical warfare agents in Eastern Ghouta, which, they said, would be used by Western states as a pretext for accusing Damascus of the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian civilian population.
US Aircraft Carrier Group Due to Enter Persian Gulf in Early May
The Russian General Staff went on speaking about US plans to deploy the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group to the Middle East, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and destroyers USS Arleigh Burke, USS Bulkeley, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Farragut. As the First Deputy Head explained, Moscow is closely watching developments around Syria.
"The US aircraft carrier group led by the Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and escorted by a group of warships started heading to the Persian Gulf, with the expected time of arrival in early May. That is the US Navy's established practice in the region," Poznikhir stated.
While the Navy has described the move as a "planned redeployment," it came shortly after Washington had accused Damascus of using chemical weapons.