“We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one – and I cannot call it otherwise – are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus.” Putin said during a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Moscow.
“They plan to plant some chemicals there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack,” Putin told media representatives, adding that he has “trusted sources”.
Putin went on to compare the situation in Syria to Saddam Hussein’s non existent weapons of mass destruction, indicating that he may believe that the US is either behind the false flag, or at least actively pushing such propaganda, while anti-government rebels in Syria carried out the attack.
“President Mattarella and I discussed it, and I told him that this reminds me strongly of the events in 2003, when the US representatives demonstrated at the UN Security Council session the presumed chemical weapons found in Iraq.” Putin said.
“The military campaign was subsequently launched in Iraq and it ended with the devastation of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the appearance of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] on the world stage,” Putin added.
“All incidents reminiscent of the chemical attacks that took place in Idlib must be thoroughly investigated,” Putin concluded, also clarifying that he has no scheduled meeting with Rex Tillerson, who is on his way to Russia.
In addition, the Russian general staff has said that Syrian forces posses no chemical weapons, and that further US Syria strikes will be viewed as unacceptable.