Russia dismissed as “unconvincing” U.S. claim that the Syrian army had used chemical weapons against the opposition.

President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy aide likened U.S. “facts” of chemical weapons use to the fabricated evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that justified the 2003 U.S. invasion.

“I wouldn’t like to draw parallels with the notorious [anthrax] vial demonstrated by Secretary of State Colin Powell, but the facts given to us are unconvincing,” Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Friday

“It would be hard even to call them facts,” Mr. Ushakov said, referring to the information provided to Russia by the U.S. “What was presented to us by the Americans does not look convincing.”

Mr. Ushakov warned that if the Americans “carry out more wide-scale aid” to the rebels, this will make it more difficult to convene the international peace conference on Syria, which Russia and the U.S. have agreed to co-sponsor.

At the same time, he said Russia was not “competing” with the U.S. in arms supplies to the warring sides in the Syrian conflict and was not planning “yet” to unfreeze the contract for the delivery of S-300 air defence missiles to the Syrian government forces.