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    US May Be Preparing for 'Preemptive Strike' on Syria Amid Chemical Weapons Claim

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    The United States might be preparing for a "preemptive" attack on Syrian government troops as the White House warned of a possible chemical attack allegedly planned by Damascus, senior Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the White House claimed that Washington had identified "potential preparations" for a chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

    The Kremlin commented on the claims and said that it considers US' threats against Syrian legitimate leadership to be "unacceptable." Damascus also denied the information.

    "In any case, it is Washington that looks very unsavory in this story: they either know about the upcoming attack and are not trying to prevent it, but knowingly put the uncomfortable Syrian leader in the wrong for that… Or the United States is preparing its own preemptive strike on Syrian troops and appeals to the topic that is already ‘famous’ on a global level and will definitely justify any preventive action," the chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament's international affairs committee said, commenting on the statement of the White House.

    On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces supported by the United States blamed the Syrian government for an alleged chemical weapon attack in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province. Reacting to the incident, Washington, which had not presented any proof of the chemical weapons use by Damascus, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian governmental military airfield in Ash Sha’irat on April 6.

    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.

    Related:

    Syria Refutes US Claims About 'Plans of Chemical Attack' - Reports
    US' Claims Assad Planning Chemical Attack in Syria Aimed to 'Justify Aggression'
    US Identifies Syrian Government Potential Preparations for Chemical Attack
    Why Syria Relinquishing Its Chemical Weapon Stockpiles Didn't Bring Peace
    Tags:
    chemical weapons, Konstantin Kosachev, Syria, United States, Russia
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