MOSCOW, Aug 25 (KUNA) -- USS destroyer "The Sullivans" armed with 56 cruise missiles had arrived in the Arabian Gulf several days ago, while a US B-1B bomber carrying 24 air-to-surface AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles has been deployed at Al Udeid air base in Qatar, Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.
"This provocation with the active participation of the British special services will serve as another pretext for the US, UK and France to conduct a missile strike on the Syrian government and economic facilities," Igor Konashenkov, defense ministry spokesman was quoted by Russian Information Agency Novosti as saying.
The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the United States, the United Kingdom and France of preparing to carry out new strikes against Syria under the pretext of chemical weapons use by Syrian government forces.
"Western countries' actions in spite of their public statements are aimed at another sharp deterioration of the situation in the Middle East region and the disruption of the peace process on the territory of Syria," Konashenkov noted.
Earlier this week, US National Security Advisor Bolton threatened a mighty blow to Syria should Bashar Al-Assad regime resort to chemical weapons use, a statement that did not land well on Moscow's ears, driving it to "warn" the West against new reckless moves toward the Middle Eastern country, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
The diplomat suggested that at present, "the scenario of a gross provocation and subsequent strikes (on Syria) was very likely."
On August 23, Bolton reportedly told Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev that the US is prepared to respond with the greater force in Syria than the last time.
The US, UK, and France coordinated a massive airstrike on Syria in April 2018 after the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma had been reported. In July, however, OPCW experts announced that they had found traces of organic substances containing chlorine, reportedly used in the attack in Douma. (end)