Shoigu: 3 Attempts to Use Chemical Weapons in Syria Prevented Last Week

Takfiri terrorists in the eastern suburbs of Damascus may stage new chemical attacks in Syria amid the ongoing ceasefire and the general stabilization of the situation, Sputnik reported.

"There is a possibility that terrorists will use poisonous substances in order to accuse the Syrian troops of using chemical weapons in the future," Russian Defense Minister Shoigu said, adding that three attempts over the past week had been stopped.

Shoigu has expressed hope that the Western states will stop supporting militants and join Russia in its efforts to resolve the situation in Syria peacefully.

 Amid the media reports claiming that the Syrian military was using chemical weapons, Eastern Ghouta residents who left the region on March 15 stated that they had not seen any signs of the use of chemical weapons.

Alexander Shulgin, Russia's permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said last week that Russia was recording repeated cases of the use of chemical weapons in conflict zones, including their use by militants in Syria.

The situation in East Ghouta has Stabilized

Speaking at a Russian Defense Ministry meeting, Shoigu said that more than 65 percent of the territory of East Ghouta has been liberated so far.

"Currently, under the leadership of the Russian Reconciliation Center, an unprecedented humanitarian operation is being conducted in Eastern Ghouta. Over the last 5 days, 79,655 people have been evacuated via the humanitarian corridors," he said.

He added that the Russian military aims to provide for the safe exit of civilians from the besieged areas as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid. Some 427 metric tons of humanitarian aid has been delivered to East Ghouta, including hot meals and drinking water.

"Despite attempts by militants to disrupt peace initiatives in East Ghouta, we are negotiating with the leaders of the armed groups in order to stop fighting and prevent a humanitarian disaster," the minister added.