MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Preventive information published on intended provocations with chemical weapons in Syria helped avoid some incidents, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"Information on possible provocations with the use of chemical agents (in Syria) was on numerous occasions [published at Russia’s suggestion] and, no doubt, its publication most likely helped avoid such provocations," Peskov told journalists.
The chemical weapons stocks held by official Damascus were fully destroyed several years ago. This was confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Kremlin spokesman said.
"At the same time, it was numerously stressed that the instances of the use of chemical agents also took place on the territory of Iraq, including their use by terrorists," Peskov said.
"That is, such chemical agents may be in terrorists’ hands," the Kremlin spokesman said.
This is what Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last week.
"Speaking about people who had been allegedly killed or wounded as a result of the use of (chemical) weapons - this information is false," Putin said.
"Today we are absolutely convinced that this is simply a provocation. [Syrian President Bashar] Assad did not use these weapons and everything was done by those who wanted to accuse him of that," Putin said.
"Our special services got additional information that they want to repeat the same scenario in other regions of Syria, including near Damascus. We have already made this information public. Thanks God, those who planned this action, pulled their wits together in time," Putin said.