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Russia keeps in touch with US Joint Chiefs of Staff over Syria — MP

On April 7, a number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, alleged that chemical weapons were used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Russia stays in direct contact with the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and conducts consultations with NATO through Turkey, Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee Chairman and former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Airborne Troops Vladimir Shamanov said on the national Rossiya’1 TV channel on Wednesday.

"Direct dialogue with the leaders of US Joint Chiefs of Staff is ongoing. Through our allies, Turkish counterparts, communications are checked and verified with NATO," Shamanov said adding that in his opinion, "no matter how emotional and threatening Mr. [Donald] Trump’s statements might have been," the response from British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron "shows that they lack unity and adopted measures have brought about initial results."

In addition, Shamanov pointed out that the State Duma’s defense committee was not alarmed by reports about possible US strikes on Syria. He called on the Russians not to get worried over the current situation, noting that Russia’s military, diplomatic and political bodies were staying in close contact round the clock.

Washington’s threats

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said that Washington had "a lot of options militarily" on Syria, adding that a decision would be made in 24 to 48 hours.

A number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets, allege that a chemical weapons attack took place in Eastern Ghouta’s town of Douma on April 7. In their April 8 statement, the White Helmets claimed that the attack had particularly involved chlorine-filled bombs. According to the White Helmets, dozens died in the attack, while 500 people "reached the medical centers with symptoms of exposure to chemicals."

The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the statement as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they were known for spreading fabricated news.

On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria visited Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons.

Russian officials have warned many times about upcoming provocations and staged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.