The coalition strike group has around 70 delivery vehicles deployed to the Middle East, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters at her news briefing on Thursday. The arsenal includes nearly 380 cruise missiles, and US Navy missile destroyers ‘Karni’ and ‘Ross’ deployed to the region, each carrying 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
While rejecting news of its growing presence in the region, the “US military forgot to mention that they can build up missile capabilities to strike Syria in just 24 hours. The strike group of the United States, France and the UK currently consists of planes, strategic and tactical aircraft at bases in Jordan, Kuwait, Crete,” Zakharova said.
Moscow has repeatedly warned that a false flag chemical weapons attack is being planned in Syria's Idlib province to frame Damascus and use as a pretext for a new strike. Eight canisters of chlorine were delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city, and a group of militants, trained in the handling of chemical weapons by the British private military contractor Olive Group, arrived in the area, according to Defense Ministry.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the planned provocation is aimed only at preventing the expulsion of terrorists from the de-escalation zone in Idlib. He also accused the US of trying to get rid of another “dissident regime” in Syria, as was the case in Iraq and Libya.
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