French an Belgian intelligence officers have arrived in Syria’s Idlib in order to help militants there stage a chemical weapons provocation, head of the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, revealed during a press briefing on March 30.
“To organize provocations, representatives of the French and Belgian secret services arrived in Idlib. Under their supervision, a meeting was held with the field commanders of the terrorist groups of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Horas Al-Din, as well as with the representatives of the pseudo-humanitarian organization ‘White helmets’” Maj. Gen. Kupchishin as saying.
According to Maj. Gen. Kupchishin, the officers paid $100 everyone who agreed to participate in the filming of the provocation. The Russian commander also warned that the perpetrators may use real toxic materials in order to achieve authenticity of photo and video materials.
The Belgian intelligence officers also filmed several Russian airstrikes on militants’ positions in Idlib in order to use this footage later in a misleading way.
“From 14 March to 27 March 2019, the representatives of the Belgian secret services recorded strikes on video, which the Russian Aerospace Forces targeted at terror groups’ arms depots and footholds of drones on the territory of the Idlib de-escalation zone, in order to subsequently present them as an ‘evidence’ of the use of chemical weapons,” Kupchishin said.
As for the toxic material that will be used in the provocation, Kupchishin said that the French intelligence had delivered loads of chlorine gas to radical militants in Idlib on March 23. According to him, the gas containers were transferred from Saraqib to the towns of Khan Shaykhun, Maarrat Horma and Kafr Zita.
Russia and its allies believe that radical militants and their backers are planning to use these chemical weapons provocation to justify new attacks by the U.S. and its allies on Damascus government forces. Such attacks could hinder any future anti-terror operation in Idlib.
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