Vladivostok: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that the Syrian government had never used chemical weapons and described the recent chemical attack in a Damascus outskirt as a provocation.
"As far as this incident is concerned, it is well-known that the Syrian government used to turn to the world community with a request to inspect, what it thought, cases of using chemical weapons against civilians by militants. Unfortunately, that did not happen," the Russian leader told journalists.
According to Putin, the Syrian government troops are now on the offensive.
"That is why I am convinced that the recent incident is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict and want to enlist the support of powerful international players, the United States in the first place," he said.