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Militants kidnap kids to stage chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Idlib: Russia

Um Majid (L) tries an improvised gas mask on family members in her home in Binnish in Syria's Idlib province as part of preparations for any upcoming attacks, September 12, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Russia’s Defense Ministry says the foreign-backed Takfiri militants have abducted children from Syria’s Aleppo to use them in a staged chemical weapons attack in Idlib to be blamed on the Syrian government.

On Wednesday, Syria’s official news agency SANA quoted the defense ministry as saying that the terrorists kidnapped 22 children with their relatives from Aleppo countryside as well as a group of orphans to use them in a false-flag chemical attack.

The ministry added that the militants are planning to use toxic substances made of chlorine against civilians in Idlib.

Last week, Russia’s military said terrorist groups, including Jabhat an-Nusra, and the Western-backed White Helmets “aid group”, which stands accused of working with Takfiri militants, met in Idlib earlier this month to prepare the final scenarios for the false-flag chemical attack which will target the cities of Jisr ash-Shugur, Serakab, Taftanaz and Sarmin.

Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja'afari earlier said that Damascus had already submitted information to the UN Security Council that a false-flag chemical attack in Idlib was being prepared by the terrorists. He said they sought to lay the blame on the Syrian government to provoke a Western attack.

Damascus and Moscow have warned that the US, along with Britain and France, is gearing up for a new military attack against Syria as the army prepares for the liberation of Idlib.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem also said the United States was using internationally-banned chemical weapons to invent a pretext for a military campaign against his conflict-plagued Arab country.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with English-language al-Hayat magazine published on Tuesday, Muallem said it was not the first time that chemical attack claims had been used to justify an attack on Syria.

On April 14, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile strike against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

The strike came one week after an alleged gas attack hit the Damascus suburb town of Douma, just as the Syrian army was about to win the battle against the militants there.

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN.

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