Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is plotting to carry out a new provocation with chemical weapons in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria revealed on July 8.
Alexander Shcherbitsky, chief of the reconciliation center, said that the group had prepared at least fifteen improvised explosive devices packed with unknown toxic substances in order to stage the false flag attack.
“According to the intelligence data, militants have manufactured at least 15 improvised explosive devices replete with unknown toxic substances in a special laboratory located in the town of Sarmada,” the Russian TASS news agency quoted Shcherbitsky as saying.
Citing local informants in Greater Idlib, Shcherbitsky said the false flag attack could take place in the towns of Sfuhon, Fatira and Flaifel.
The three towns were likely chosen by the terrorist group because they are shelled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on a regular basis. Most civilians abandoned the towns during the last battle. HTS and its allies built a series of military positions there.
Over the past two years, Russian, Syrian and Lebanese sources have reported a number of attempts by HTS to stage false flag chemical weapons attacks in Greater Idlib.
HTS’ plots are nothing but a desperate attempt to provoke a U.S.-led attack on the SAA. The U.S. launched missile strikes on the SAA in 2017 and 2018 in response to alleged chemical attacks. Since then, terrorist groups in Syria have been attempting to provide a pretext for new attacks.