On August 26, a source familiar with the situation in the northern governorate of Idlib told the al-Mayadeen TV that Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and its allies have arrested more than 1,000 civilians so far after accusing them of communicating with the Damascus government.
Furthermore, the source revealed that dozens of children were abducted from different areas in Idlib in the last few weeks. In the most recent incident, three young children from the same family where abducted from their home in the town of Turmanin in the northern countryside of the governorate.
The source warned that Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies may have been planning to use these detainees to stage a fake chemical attack in northern Syria in order to provoke military intervention of the U.S. and its allies.
Earlier, Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that “foreign specialists” arrived in Syria to stage a chemical attack, which will be blamed on the Damascus government. Maj. Gen. Konashenkov added that a group of residents was brought from the northern Idlib countryside to participate in the staged attack.
Such a provocation is highly possible, especially that HTS and its allies are desperate in their attempts to prevent the upcoming attack of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on their remaining positions in northern Syria.