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Foes of Syria behind Idlib chemical attack to cover up losses: Analyst

A Syrian man collects and bags the body of a dead bird, reportedly killed by a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, April 5, 2017. (AFP photo)

A chemical attack in northern Syria, which has played into the hands of anti-Syria governments to start a blame game on Damascus, was a ploy by those who have effectively lost the war to the Syrian government, an analyst has told Press TV.

Robert Inlakesh, a researcher and political analyst from Sydney, Australia, said on Wednesday that the co-called moderate militants who enjoy support from Western governments stage dramas such as the carnage of civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province to cover up their crimes against innocent Syrian people.

“Well, this sort of thing happens, the allegations come out every single time they start losing a battle,” he said, adding that the militants, who have a record of killing Christians in Hama over the past few years, are now blaming the government for the death of about 60 people in the Tuesday chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, which is located near Hama.

The analyst said history had repeated itself in Syria with militants using the tactic for launching chemical attacks on civilians to provoke global sentiments and heap more pressure on the government in Damascus.

 “... every single time this happens, it happened in Damascus and it happened last year in 2016 in Aleppo, when they were losing. What happened is they’re losing now,” said the analyst, making a reference to the defeat of militants after a fierce battle in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city before war.

Sources in the West, including a Britain-based monitoring group that advocates militants, have cited witness accounts showing that Sukhoi jets operated by the Russian and Syrian governments dropped the chemical bombs.

Syrians bury the bodies of victims of a a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, a nearby town in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, April 5, 2017. (AFP photo)

Inlakesh challenged the claims and said Sukhoi jets were not the type of aircraft to carry out such attacks. He said Western governments and militants enjoying their support had yet to present any evidence proving that those jets were behind the massacre.

He added that the hype launched over the attack is in line with a narrative that the Syrian government should be overthrown.

“They can throw these claims without any evidence whatsoever ... It happened in Iraq, it happened in Libya and now it’s happening in Syria,” he said, adding, “They use (the claims) in order to make a moral case and try and say that it is the Syrian government that needs to be held accountable for its crimes.”

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