The 'White Helmets' organisation together with terrorists have been preparing new provocations with the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"New confirmations of the information about the White Helmets' activities emerge all the time ... According to the existing information, which the Syrian government regularly provides to the United Nations, the White Helmets, jointly with terrorists, is preparing new chemical provocations in Syria. They obviously aim at disrupting the peace process in the country," Zakharova said at a briefing.
Russia is disappointed over Washington's decision to allocate funds to the White Helmets, Zakharova added, recalling that Russia has publicly revealed evidence of the White Helmets' links with terrorists.
The White Helmets, officially known as Syria Civil Defence, is a non-governmental organisation, suspected of having links to radical Islamists. On 22 July, the group claimed that Russia had carried out an airstrike on a market in Idlib province on that day, causing numerous casualties among civilians. Russia's Defence Ministry responded by releasing a video which proved that the market was fully operational.
Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly accused the White Helmets of staging provocations involving chemical weapons to justify foreign interventions and the presence of foreign forces in Syria.