Russia: White Helmets, militants may be preparing false-flag chemical attacks in Syria

Russia: White Helmets, militants may be preparing false-flag chemical attacks in Syria Russia: White Helmets, militants may be preparing false-flag chemical attacks in Syria

Russia has warned that members of the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist outfit together with the so-called civil defense group White Helmets are planning to carry out chemical attacks across Syria in a bid to incriminate Syrian government forces and invent pretexts for possible acts of aggression on army troops.

Speaking during a press briefing in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Friday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said there were reports that the Takfiri terrorists in coordination with the Western-backed group, which has been repeatedly accused of cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging false-flag gas attacks, are establishing arms caches in the northwestern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, the western coastal province of Latakia as well as the western-central province of Hama.

“We are closely monitoring the situation in Idlib de-escalation zone. The terrorists operating there are not stopping their provocative false-flag attacks against government forces. Since the beginning of the year, over 460 such incidents have been recorded,” Zakharova said.

The Russian official said Moscow is “seriously concerned” by new reports that militants from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, with assistance from the notorious White Helmets, are making preparations for another staged attack involving the use of toxic substances, and subsequently placing the blame for the use of chemical weapons on government forces.

“Terrorists are dispersing the corresponding warheads and caches in the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Lattakia, and Hama,” Zakharova stated.

Head of Damascus-based Syrian Human Rights Network, Ahmad Kazem, told Russia’s Sputnik news agency on February 5 that members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, had removed barrels with banned chlorine to a town in Idlib province, using White Helmets’ vehicles.

“According to our data, several chlorine containers were transported from [the northwestern Syrian city of] Jisr al-Shugur to Khan Shaykhun town, in the south of the Idlib province. The transportation took place under coordination and cooperation between the White Helmets and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists. The containers with the toxic substance were transported in two ambulances,” Kazem pointed out.

The United States has warned it would respond to any possible chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces with retaliatory strikes, stressing that the attacks would be stronger than those conducted by American, British and French forces last year.

On April 14, 2018, the United States, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack on the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus.

Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the Douma attack, an allegation rejected by the Syrian government.

On September 11 last year, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov censured the US threats to use military force against Syria as part of Washington’s blackmail policy.

“Unlike the United States, Britain and their allies, Russia provides particular facts on a daily basis through its Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry as well missions in New York, The Hague and Geneva. We particularly name geographical points, where preparations are underway for certain terrorist groups backed by the US and its allies to carry out provocations,” Ryabkov said.

Western governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack takes place.

Syria surrendered its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the United States and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. It has also consistently denied using chemical weapons.

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