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Kremlin cautions against moves that whip up further tension in Syria

Moscow is closely watching Washington’s statements on Syria, the Kremlin spokesman noted

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Thursday that steps to stir up tensions around Syria are very destructive, and urged that they be avoided.

"We still believe that it is very necessary to avoid any steps which can trigger an escalation in tensions in Syria," Peskov told reporters. "We believe that this could have a very destructive impact on the entire Syrian settlement," he stressed.

Moscow is keeping close tabs on Washington’s statements regarding Syria, Peskov stressed.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump vowed that he would be making major decisions "over the next 24 to 48 hours" about the United States’ swift action against the Syrian authorities following the suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma. In turn, Moscow warned Washington of serious consequences should a potential US strike on Syria put Russians there in harm’s way.

A number of non-government organizations (NGOs), including the White Helmets, allege that a chemical weapons attack took place in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital, on April 7. The White Helmets claimed that the use of chlorine-filled bombs were involved in the ‘attack’ leaving dozens dead. Moreover, the infamous group claimed that 500 people "reached medical centers with symptoms of exposure to chemicals."

The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the statement as fake news, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information, since they are notorious for spreading falsified information.

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

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