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Russia warns of militants chemical attack in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

In this file photo, a woman, affected by a gas attack, breathes through an oxygen mask inside a field hospital in Kfar Zeita village in Syria's central province of Hama. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia has warned that militants in Eastern Ghouta are preparing to launch a chemical attack which they plan to blame on the Syrian government.

"The data at our disposal indicates the leaders of militant units are preparing a provocation that will involve the utilization of chemical weapons in order to accuse the government forces of deploying chemical weapons against peaceful civilians," said a report released by the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria on Sunday.

The center also called on all sides engaged in the conflict to halt all combat actions and armed provocations.

Eastern Ghouta near Damascus has witnessed renewed violence in the past few days, where terrorists have mounted repeated mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent rout. Western powers, however, blame the Syrian government and Russia for the crisis.

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The Syrian capital has seen a dramatic rise in deadly attacks over the past several days. The escalating violence comes amid international efforts to end clashes between government forces and militants in Eastern Ghouta.

On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution demanding a 30-day truce in Syria 'without delay' to allow aid access and medical evacuations.

The Syrian army launched a ground operation on Sunday against the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in the Eastern Ghouta region, wresting control over some areas.

The truce does not apply to operations against the Daesh, al-Qaeda and al-Nusra Front along with "individuals, groups, undertakings and entities" associated with the terrorist groups.

It also allows the Syrian government's operation to continue against terrorists in Idlib Province, the country’s largest remaining militant stronghold.

The resolution was adopted by 15 votes to none,  after several delays and a flurry of last-minute negotiations.

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