The Chief of Russia's General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, reportedly threatened military action against the United States if it attacks the Syrian capital city of Damascus, citing "reliable information" regarding an alleged plan by the U.S. to fabricate a chemical attack against civilians.
He continued by saying the U.S. would then use this attack to accuse Syrian government troops of using chemical weapons. He added that the U.S. would then plan to launch a missile strike on government districts in Damascus.
"In several districts of Eastern Ghouta, a crowd was assembled with women, children and old people, brought from other regions, who were to represent the victims of the chemical incident, " Gerasimov said, according to RIA.
Gerasimov also said in the event of an attack threatening Russian troops that "the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them."
The statements from Russia come at a time that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad continues airstrikes just outside the capital city, despite calls from the United Nations Security Council for a ceasefire two weeks ago in order to allow the safe exit of nearly 1,000 sick and wounded civilians.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hailey, said Monday that the U.S. was drafting a new ceasefire resolution with "no room for evasion" and warned the country was prepared to act.
"It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again," Haley told the UN Security Council on Monday.
"When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action," she added.