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Russia: HTS militants, White Helmets preparing false-flag chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib

Russia’s Defense Ministry 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 stage yet another false-flag chemical attack against civilians in the northwestern province of Idlib to implicate Russian army and Syrian government forces.

“The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria has received information that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists together with representatives of the pseudo-humanitarian organization White Helmets are preparing to record a staged video in Ariha town and Jisr ash-Shughur city of the province to accuse the Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian government troops of indiscriminate strikes on civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” Deputy head of the center, Major General Oleg Yegorov, said on Friday.

He added that the the Takfiri terrorist group, previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra, has carried out five counts of shelling in the past 24 hours, of which one was recorded in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Areas in the same Syrian province as well as the western coastal province of Latakia were also shelled on four different occasions.

“In Aleppo province, a Syrian soldier was also wounded when terrorists stationed in Tekad town west of Aleppo used light weapons to target positions of government forces near Basratun village,” Yegorov said.

The White Helmets group, which claims to be a humanitarian NGO, is known for its coordination with terror outfits in Syria to carry out staged chemical attacks in order to falsely incriminate Syrian government forces and fabricate pretexts for military strikes by a US-led military coalition present in Syria since 2014.

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.

That alleged attack was reported by the White Helmets group, which published videos showing them purportedly treating survivors.

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

The western media and governments have repeatedly accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its own citizens in the war against terrorists.

This is while 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.

Russia has been providing Syrian forces with crucial military assistance in the ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued Arab country. 

The Russian assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as Syrians continue to recapture key areas from remnants of the Daesh terrorist group and other foreign-backed terrorist factions.

‘Remnants of terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria expanding their activities elsewhere’

Meanwhile, Head of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev says remnants of Takfiri terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria are expanding their activities in other countries of the world.

Addressing a meeting of the security chiefs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, Patrushev stated that the extremists, having suffered heavy blows in Iraq and Syria, are now changing their tactics and expanding their activities in other parts of the world, including South Asia and Africa.

“Among the SCO member states, the countries that have been most affected by terrorism are India and Pakistan,” he pointed out.

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