Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with his Turkish counterpart in Moscow on March 14, 2018. / AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Wednesday claimed that Syrian rebels were planning to stage a chemical attack to give the U.S.-led coalition a pretext to strike Damascus.Lavrov's claims came after he and the Russian military warned Tuesday that any such strike by the U.S. coalition would lead to Russian retaliatory steps in Syria and "very serious" consequences.Lavrov's remarks follow a statement by the chief of the Gen. Staff Valery Gerasimov who on Tuesday raised the specter of a direct clash between Russian and U.S. troops in Syria.Putin insisted that the Syrian government has "long ago" destroyed its stockpiles of chemical weapons and dismissed accusations against Assad and Russia.
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