Russia has alleged that the deadly chemical-weapons attack, which is said to have taken place in the rebel-held eastern Syrian city of Douma on Saturday, was staged by special services of a foreign country.
The allegation, which gives a new twist to the complex international rivalry over the Syrian conflict, was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a news conference on Friday.
He did not specify the country, which he said is “now seeking to be in the first ranks of the Russophobic campaign.”
After reports of chemical-weapons attack in Douma came in, Trump put the blame on the Syrian regime and its ally Russia, which provides military backing to Damascus.
The governments of Syria and Russia denied any responsibility, but Trump warned that his government is mulling several options for striking Syria.
According to Lavrov, the White Helmets, a pro-terrorist group operating in Syria, published a statement on its website on April 8, saying chlorine bombs were dropped on Douma, killing dozens and poisoning many locals who had to be brought to a hospital.
The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed that report as fake news.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has deployed a Fact-Finding Mission team to Douma to establish facts surrounding the allegations.
Lavrov said the OPCW team set off to Syria “not so quickly and without abundant enthusiasm,” but under pressure from Syria and Russia.
The independent chemical weapons inspectors are due to arrive in Damascus Saturday, the Russian foreign minister told reporters.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed over telephone measures to de-escalate tensions in Syria.