Rear Admiral Alexander Karpov, deputy head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, made the remarks on Friday.
He said the center had received information that the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorists were seeking to launch a chemical attack in the de-escalation zone of the province in order “to frame the Damascus government for the use of chemical warfare against civilians.”
Karpov added that the plot was hatched in the wake of an unfounded resolution adopted by members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to limit Syria’s rights and privileges at the international organization.
On Wednesday, the 25th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) suspended the voting rights and privileges of the Syrian Arab Republic, accusing Damascus of failing to comply with the treaty, which prohibits the use of all chemicals on the battlefield.
The resolution was passed by 87 votes in favor to 15 against. There were also 34 abstentions out of 136 countries taking part.
Iran, Russia and Syria were among those to vote against.
The anti-Syria motion was initiated by 46 out of 193 member countries on the OPCW’s governing Conference of States Parties, including Britain, France and the United States.
Karpov added that the Takfiri HTS militants are transporting toxic chemicals from the Tel Tuna camp in the vicinity of Idlib to the city of Jisr al-Shughour and Bidama town.
He also said members of the Western-backed so-called civil defense group White Helmets have also increased their activities near Marj al-Ajan settlement in Idlib province.
Moscow and Damascus have on many occasions accused the White Helmets members of staging gas attacks in a bid to falsely incriminate Syrian government forces and fabricate pretexts for military strikes by the US-led military coalition.
The group claims to be a humanitarian NGO but has long been accused of collaborating with anti-Damascus militants.
On April 14, 2018, the US, 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, a charge the Syrian government strongly denies.
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 OPCW, which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. It has also consistently denied using chemical weapons.
US sends truckloads of military equipment to northeast Syria
The US military coalition has reportedly sent a new convoy of trucks carrying military and logistical equipment to northeastern Syria.
Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, reported that the convoy of 38 trucks crossed into Syrian territories from Iraq on Thursday, and headed towards Tell town on the outskirts of Qamishli city.
American troops and military equipment have been stationed in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon alleging that the troop deployment is meant to protect the oilfields in the area against sporadic Daesh attacks and prevent the energy reserves from falling into the hands of the Takfiri terrorists.
Syria, however, maintains that the deployment is aimed at looting the country’s resources and hindering its reconstruction.
Back on March 18, Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Bassam Tomeh told state-run and Arabic-language al-Ikhbariyah Syria television news that the oil reserves in the war-stricken Arab country are being looted by the US military and its allied Takfiri terrorist groups.
He highlighted that Washington is in control of 90 percent of crude reserves in oil-rich northeastern Syria.
Former president Donald Trump had openly admitted on several occasions that oil was the main reason which kept US troops in Syria.
The US confirmed its looting of Syrian oil during a Senate hearing exchange between South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo last July.
Pompeo confirmed for the first time during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 30, 2020 that an American oil company would start its activities in northeastern Syria, which is controlled by militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The Syrian government strongly condemned the agreement, saying the deal was sealed to plunder the country’s natural resources, including oil and gas, with the support of the Trump administration.