The Russian Defense Ministry says militants are preparing a chemical attack on the U.S.-backed fighters in eastern Syria.
The ministry said in Wednesday’s statement that it had learned from multiple intelligence sources that militants from the Islamic State group were rigging mortar rounds with combat chemical agents in preparation for the attack on the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
It said the militants in Kishma plan to launch an attack on Hajin in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. The ministry charged that the militants intend to conduct the shelling from the direction where the Syrian army units are located in the hope of provoking a U.S. counterstrike on the government forces’ positions.
The ministry added it would dispatch a chemical weapons protection unit to the area to monitor the situation.