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US Rejects Russia's Data on Chemical Weapons Provocations in Syria - Lavrov

© AP Photo / Hassan AmmarPeople stand in front of damaged buildings, in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, Monday, April 16, 2018
People stand in front of damaged buildings, in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, Monday, April 16, 2018 - Sputnik International
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that it seemed the US had issued threats to Damascus in order to prevent the expulsion of terrorists from Idlib province.

According to Lavrov, Russia cited more and more facts that confirm the forthcoming staging of the use of chemical weapons as a false flag in order to blame the Syrian government.

US officials "say that this is not true, but they cannot bring any facts to the basis of their position," he added.

"There is an impression that this issue and the threats in this connection, which are made against the Syrian government, are being used for the sole purpose of preventing the expulsion of terrorists from the Idlib de-escalation zone. Probably, there is a certain desire behind it – it has been visible for several years already, starting with the Obama administration, when the United States wanted to get the Nusra Front* off the hook by any means, hoping to use it in the fight against, as they say, the regime," Lavrov told a press conference after talks with Saudi counterpart Adel Jubeir.

It is necessary to prepare an operation against terrorists in Syria's Idlib region, while minimizing the risks for the population, Lavrov added.

READ MORE: Syrian Army Preparing Operation to Liberate Idlib Province — Military Source

Russia is ready to cooperate with the US to resolve all problems in Syria, Libya and other countries in region, but Washington has shied away from it, Sergei Lavrov said.

"We advocate that all problems in this region and other regions of the world should be resolved collectively. We are open to cooperation with the United States and other Western countries, as well with the countries of the region to settle all the problems that exist there — in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq, as well as in Palestine," Lavrov told a press conference after talks with his Saudi counterpart Adel Jubeir.

The cabinet minister noted that Washington sought to change the Syrian government rather than fight terrorism, as it had done before, in Iraq and Libya.

Russia, alongside Iran and Turkey, is a guarantor of the ceasefire regime in Syria. Moscow has also been assisting Damascus both through supporting the struggle against terrorist groups and providing humanitarian aid to the residents of the crisis-torn country.

Idlib province is one of Syria's de-escalation zones and a remaining stronghold of insurgency in the country.

*Nusra Front is a terrorist group banned in Russia

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