The Kremlin is calling “unacceptable” a White House warning to Syria’s government that it would pay a “heavy price” if it carries out another poison gas attack against its own people.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, also declared Tuesday that there is no indication that a chemical weapons strike is in the works.
The White House said late Monday night that activity had been detected similar to that preceding a nerve gas attack on April 4 that killed dozens of civilians, including children, in rebel-held Idlib province.
President Trump responded by launching nearly 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield that U.S. officials said was used for the chemical attack. It was the first U.S. attack on Syrian forces in the six-year civil war.
Russia continues to deny that Assad’s forces carried out the April 4 gas attack and Peskov criticized the White House for saying there were signs of preparation for “another” such strike.
Peskov said the Kremlin does not “think it is possible to lay the blame on the Syrian armed forces” for the April strike on the village of Khan Sheikhoun, which the U.S. and its allies said involved sarin, a banned nerve agent.
“Despite all the demands from the Russian side, an impartial international inquiry into a previous tragedy using chemical agents has not been carried out,” the spokesman told Russian news agencies.
Peskov criticized the White House warning to Assad, saying “such threats to Syria’s legitimate leaders are unacceptable.”