According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, and as reported by RT, the Russian military reports being in possession of “irrefutable” data that terrorist groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra (a US proxy which also was affiliated with al-Qaeda) and the “White Helmets”, met in the Idlib province of Syria on Sunday September 2nd.
This meeting was to rehearse and plot the scenarios for the “chemical attacks” (or simulations thereof) to frame the Syrian government forces. This statement was made by the Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov:
The militants plotted the final scenarios for the chemical attacks that the Syrian army are expected to make in the cities of Jisr ash-Shugur, Serakab, Taftanaz and Sarmin, the Russian military revealed.
“Full readiness of all participants involved in the staging of the provocations is be ensured by the evening of September 8,” Konashenkov stated. He added that the terrorists are to receive a “special” signal from some “foreign friends of Syrian revolution” to launch the operation.
The statement comes after earlier warnings from Moscow’s that militants are preparing to stage a chemical attack in the Syrian province to give the Western coalition a pretext to strike Syria. In August, the Defense Ministry said that eight canisters of chlorine had been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city, and that a foreign-trained group of militants had also arrived in the area to simulate a rescue operation after the staged attack.
The US and its allies have repeatedly stressed its readiness to strike Syria if any attack takes place, ignoring all Russia’s warnings. Washington’s envoy to the UN Nikki Haley recently said that she already knows the perpetrators in case a chemical incident takes place in Syria.
In late August, American forces deployed missile destroyer USS Ross to the Mediterranean and USS The Sullivans to the Persian Gulf. The preparation of US military forces was condemned by Russia, with its Defense Ministry describing the move as “the latest evidence of the US intention” to take advantage of a false-flag attack.
On Friday, leaders of the three countries involved in the so-called “Astana process,” Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, met in Tehran to discuss the situation in Idlib and the rest of Syria. All three agreed that radical Islamists pose a threat to Syria, but there was no unanimous support for a major offensive in the terrorists’ last stronghold. The final document of the summit called for all armed groups in Idlib to lay down arms and seek a political transition in the country.
A further report detailed that the American geopolitical interest in Syria has prompted the US to plan to prevent the fall of this last stronghold of terrorists by whatever means necessary, including helping them stage “false flag” attacks, without regard for civilians at all:
Washington and its allies pursue their geopolitical interests under the guise of humanitarian concerns as they apparently try to prevent the destruction of the last terrorist enclave in Syria, the Russian envoy to the UN said.
The US and its allies have done virtually nothing to contribute to the real peace process in Idlib, the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia said, adding that the US particularly did not deliver on its promise to separate the “moderate opposition” groups from the terrorist organizations.
“Instead, [they] are hatching yet another aggressive plan, which includes false flag attacks involving the use of chemical weapons,”the envoy said.
The Western states apparently “go out of their way to prevent the fall of the last major terrorist stronghold in Syria,” Nebenzia said, adding that such actions serve some narrow geopolitical interests rather than the declared need to protect civilians.
The hysterical campaign that has unfolded around the upcoming liberation of Idlib closely resembles the one that the Western officials and the media waged at the time when the Syrian troops backed by the Russian Air Forces were liberating Aleppo. “Those apocalyptic forecasts turned out to be unfounded,” Nebenzia said, referring to the Western hysteria about the Aleppo campaign.
“Meanwhile, Raqqa was leveled to the ground as a result of the bombings of the US-led coalition,” he said, referring to another Syrian city, which was recaptured from the terrorists by the forces backed by the US and its allies, with the Western MSM mentioning little of its plight.
The image of Idlib presented by the West has in fact little in common with reality, Nebenzia said. “Those, who evacuated to Idlib from other Syrian regions were not some peaceful civilians but notorious militants, who refused to lay down their arms and return to normal life,” the Russian envoy to the UN said, adding that large forces of Al-Qaeda-affiliated former Al Nusra Front (now known as Tahrir al-Sham) have been concentrated in the militant-held province.
“The real situation in Idlib is defined through the activities of this large and combat-capable terrorist group,” Nebenzia said, adding that the terrorists pose a serious security threat both to the region and the entire world.
“The terrorists in Idlib hold millions of people hostage and raid neighboring cities and villages,” Nebenzia said. He pointed out that they also persecute any dissenting voices within the ranks of the local armed groups commanders, effectively quelling any attempts of a peaceful reconciliation with the Syrian government by killing the dissidents.
Under such circumstances, “it is unacceptable to let the terrorists off the hook for some political goals,” Nebenzia said – let alone supply them with military-grade weapons, which, the envoy said, they obtain from local armed groups.
In response, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that Washington “will not cooperate with Russia” in what she called “[Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s slaughter of civilians.” Haley then went on to accusing the Syrian government and “its enablers, Russia and Iran” of having a “playbook of death,” which includes targeting civilians and waging “starve and surrender campaigns.”
She particularly claimed that the people in Daraa and Eastern Ghouta, which were both liberated by the Syrian Army backed by the Russian Air Forces earlier this year, were “trapped and besieged”, without even mentioning the humanitarian corridors that the Syrian troops organized together with the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria to let civilians leave the active combat zones.
Instead, she said that Washington would consider any operation in Idlib “a dangerous escalation of the conflict in Syria”and warned of “dire consequences” of such development.
With two such radically differing viewpoints on this conflict – both backed by great firepower – the situation in this region is very touchy.