LONDON: Virginia state senator Richard Black claims that UKinfo-icon's MI6 intelligence service was planning a chemical weaponsinfo-icon attack on the Syrian people, which it would then blame on government of Bashar al Assad.

"Around four weeks ago, we knew that British intelligence was working towards a chemical attack in order to blame the Syrian government, to hold Syriainfo-icon responsible," Black said on Al Mayadeen, a pan Arab news channel based in Beirut.

USinfo-icon senator said later that he meant the British were planning not to carry out an attack themselves, but to either direct rebels to do so or stage a phoney attack, with actors posing as victims.

Black also said some chemical attacks previously reported to have occurred in Syria were British fakes, pulled off with help from volunteer first responders known as "White Helmets".

"From what I can tell, they have been planning a fake attack, not a genuine one, but one where they actually move people out of a town and they have trained people to portray victims of a gas attack," Black said in an interviewinfo-icon with The Washington Post. "And the plan is to use the White Helmets who have always been involved in these notorious deceptions, to portray an attack."

The State Department flatly rejected senator's allegations, which echoed what it called "outrageous" Russian and Assad-regime claims that Britaininfo-icon and the US have carried out chemical attacks with help from the White Helmets.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy did not respond to a request for comment on US senator's claims.

Black, who flew from Parisinfo-icon to Beirut and then travelled five hours by car to Damascus and met President Assad, said his flight and lodging outside of Syria were covered by Dr Nasser Ani, a prominent surgeon from New Jersey who chairs the Syrian American Forum. The group has featured Black as a speaker.

Black said he and Mr Assad spent three hours in the president's office, in a mostly upbeat discussion about how the country has fared since the senator's last visit.

"There was sort of a spring in his step and a sense of joy and optimism, and looking out to the future and bringing the nation together," Black said.