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Syria locals give Russia hint on false-flag chemical attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The undated photo shows members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, Takfiri terrorist group in an undisclosed location in Syria.

Militants from the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, are reportedly preparing for a chemical attack in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib to implicate Russia's air force, the Russian Defense Ministry says.

The ministry's Center for Syrian Reconciliation said in a statement released on Friday that it had received information on the matter from the local residents of the northwestern city of Saraqib.

The sources added that the extremists are planning to film the alleged poisoning of civilians next to the fragments of Russian munitions later on, and subsequently publish the video on social media networks or hand it over to Western media outlets to create the false notion that Russian fighter jets have targeted residential neighborhoods in the area with chemical weapons.

On April 23, local sources, requesting not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists and Western-backed White Helmets, who have been accused of cooperating with Takfiri militants and staging false-flag gas attacks, were preparing to stage chemical attacks in Idlib province as well as the west-central province of Hama.

Speaking during a press briefing in the Russian capital Moscow on April 18, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that White Helmets and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists were “preparing for further provocations aimed at accusing the legitimate government in Syria of using poisonous substances.”

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 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, an allegation rejected by the Syrian government.

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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