Russia Accuses the United Kingdom of Helping Rebels Stage Chemical Attack

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami delivers a speech during the annual Moscow Conference on Intern

Borshchevskaya said Assad may look to chemical weapons because his conventional military has weakened under seven years of conflict.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Monday that the United States was increasing the number of cruise missiles deployed to the Middle East, planning to target Syrian government troops following a staged chemical weapons attack that terrorists were about to carry out in the Idlib province.

Minister Ayoub also championed the two countries' special relationship on Sunday.

The Kremlin has provided no evidence to substantiate its claims, which include the assertion that United Kingdom private military company Olive Group, under the direction of the United Kingdom government, is directly supporting these activities in Syria.

Iranian officials usually refer to Sunni Muslim extremist groups as "takfiris".

Moscow later said it had put forward plans to Washington to cooperate on their return to Syria but details have yet to be confirmed.

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"The Islamic Republic has high capabilities in the area of defence and can help Syria in expanding their military equipment", he said, according to ISNA.

This two-day visit by a large military delegation follows highly publicized meetings that US National Security Adviser John Bolton held both in Israel and with his Russian counterpart last week on the issue of removing Iranian forces and its proxies from Syria as soon as possible.

Russian Federation helped turn the tide of the conflict in Assad's favor when it launched a campaign of air strikes on his opponents and stepped up its military presence on the ground in Syria in 2015.

"We hope to have a productive role in the reconstruction of Syria", Hatami said on arrival in Syria, according to Fars News.

Turkey's foreign minister has spoken out against the possible attack and offered to work with Russian Federation to prevent an attack from Syria. But in recent years, as casualties have mounted, they have been more outspoken about their engagement, framing it as an existential struggle against the Sunni Muslim fighters of Islamic State who see Shi'ites - the majority of Iran's population - as apostates.

Iran-backed militias, including the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah movement, have also backed Assad's troops.

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