Syria has denied accusation that it has used chemical weapons against rebel forces. That comes after western intelligence said the Assad regime probaby has used them on two occasions in the civil war.
An anticipated Syrian government offensive against the jihadi hotbed of Idlib province threatens to draw in multiple foreign powers and unleash massive suffering. Hundreds of thousands of civilians could be displaced.
The Russian government is warning of a staged gas attack by Syrian rebels in Idlib. Experts doubt the validity of that information, however, and see the move as a telltale sign of desperation in Moscow.
The Kremlin has claimed that rebels are planning a chemical weapons attack with the intent of blaming it on Syria. Russia also says a British contractor is helping the militants.
As the Syrian war appears to enter a decisive phase, Iran, Russia and Turkey are busy devising strategies to ensure they remain key players in the war-torn country. Experts say Iran's position could be vulnerable.
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