“Our intelligence confirmed by three independent Syrian sources says that commanders of the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’, backed by the American Special Forces operators, are preparing a serious provocation involving chemical warfare agents in Deir ez-Zor province,” reads a statement released by Russian Defense Ministry.
The military alleged the FSA militants are likely to employ chlorine to orchestrate the chemical incident. “To imitate yet another ‘chemical attack by the regime against peaceful civilians’, the rebels brought canisters filled with chlorine,” it said.
The set-up could then be distributed in Western media and serve as a pretext for renewed coalition airstrikes against Syrian government’s targets. The planned “provocation,” the Russian military said, is also to justify an FSA offensive against Syrian troops on eastern bank of the Euphrates River.