MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. The United States can forward information concerning preparations for an alleged attack involving the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib to Russia though bilateral conduits, if Washington has such information, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. The spokeswoman responded to the remarks by US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey who said that there was plenty of evidence proving that Damascus was getting ready to conduct a chemical weapons attack in Idlib.
"We have visible evidence concerning preparations for an attack with the use of chemical weapons by terrorists. We did not just talk about it, but provided factual evidence. If the US has some factual evidence, which raises its concerns, it can send it to us, for example, via bilateral channels," the diplomat pointed out.
Assumptions of the Syrian authorities' intention to seize Idlib are unjustified, she said.
"The statement that the Syrian government intends to seize Idlib [is unjustified,]" she noted. "The issue actually concerns Syria’s territory as such. It is impossible to seize anything on one’s own territory. It is possible to continue an anti-terrorist operation, and these are the goals that Damascus announced."
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman refrained from foreseeing the possible results of the trilateral meeting between the Russian, Iranian and Turkish state leaders which is due in Tehran on Friday and is expected to focus on the situation in Idlib.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported on August 25 that militants in Idlib enjoying active assistance from British intelligence agencies were laying the groundwork for staging a faked chemical attack against civilians to be blamed on government forces. The provocation is to serve as a pretext for a missile strike by the United States, Britain and France against Syria’s government and economic facilities.