The Syrian regime has said a US warning this week to Damascus not to carry out a new chemical weapons strike was baseless and a ploy to justify a new attack on the country, the regime's broadcaster said.
It quoted a foreign ministry source as saying Washington's allegations about an intended attack were not only misleading but also "devoid of any truth and not based on any facts."
The White House warned Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad on Monday that he and his military would "pay a heavy price" if it conducted a chemical weapons attack and said the United States had reason to believe such preparations were underway.
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Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it too would respond "in proportion" if the United States takes military action to prevent what it says could be a chemical attack by the Syrian regime.
"We will react with dignity, in proportion to the real situation that may take place," Lavrov said.
Speaking at a news conference with his German counterpart, Lavrov said he hoped that the United States was not preparing to use its intelligence assessments about the Syrian regime's intentions as a pretext to mount a "provocation" in Syria.