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US plotting false-flag attacks in Syria to incriminate leadership: Russia

In this file picture, a Syrian victim who suffered a chemical attack in the Khan al-Assal district receives treatment from doctors at a hospital in the city of Aleppo, northwestern Syria. (Photo by Syrian Arab News Agency)

The director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has warned that the United States is planning to stage new false-flag operations, including chemical attacks, against civilians in Syria in order to incriminate the Syrian government.

In a statement on Monday, Sergey Naryshkin said that the US, distraught with a series of reconciliation moves between Syria and Arab states including its return to the Arab League, wishes to “discredit” the Syrian leadership.

“Biden’s team is doing everything to derail the Arab-Syrian normalization, to discredit the Syrian leadership. To this end, false flag attacks are being prepared, including with the use of chemical warfare agents,” Naryshkin said.

He added that the SVR has received information that members of the al-Qaeda-linked Hurras al-Din militant group and the Salafist terrorist group Turkistan Islamic Party underwent training in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib last May on how to apply toxic materials.

Americans have also provided Daesh Takfiri terrorists with missiles, whose warheads are laced with chemical agents, and the munitions have been stockpiled near the villages of al-Khawiya and al-Zawriyah not far from the US-run al-Tanf military base in southern Syria, Naryshkin added.

The base has turned into a real “den of bandits,” he said. A “joint US-British intelligence committee” has been recently established there, and it apparently serves as the headquarters for organizing the terror activities of Takfiri terrorists in militant-controlled areas in southern Syria and government-controlled regions.

He highlighted that Americans have launched a massive propaganda campaign in order to dissuade Arab states from détente with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and depict it as a “strategic mistake.”

Those who distance themselves from such a policy will find themselves under the direct threat of sanctions, he said.

Naryshkin noted that Syria’s relations with other Arab countries are improving, and they are exchanging viewpoints on a range of issues, including the fight against terrorism, reconstruction of Syria’s economy, and repatriation of Syrian refugees.

“Such developments are not in favor of the US administration. West is making a horrible mistake and is well presenting itself as a provocateur of instability in the Middle East region. There is no doubt about that and everyone is aware of such a fact,” the Russian intelligence official said.

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, citing an alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests.

Syria, one of the six founding members of the Arab League in 1945, denounced the move as “illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”

Arab government representatives in Cairo voted on May 7 to return Syria to the Arab League after a 12-year suspension.

All 13 of the 22 member states that attended the session endorsed the decision.

During his address at the Arab League summit in the Saudi city of Jeddah on May 19, Assad hoped for increased cooperation between regional states.

“I hope that it marks the beginning of a new phase of Arab action for solidarity among us, for peace in our region, development, and prosperity instead of war and destruction.”

He noted that the gaps between Syria and other Arab states that have emerged over the last decade must be addressed, and the most important thing is to let the people manage their internal affairs and avoid external interference.

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