The Ahrar al-Sham Movement, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Faylaq al-Rahman are planning to stage a chemical attack in the Eastern Ghouta pocket to blame the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) for it, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on March 1 citing an unnamed Syrian military official.
The military official told SANA that according to recently received information, these armed groups have been ordered to carry out an attack with “toxic materials” against civilian areas near the front lines with the SAA in the East Ghouta pocket. So that the US, the UK and other Western countries will be able to accuse the SAA of conducting “a chemical attack”.
The official added that the SAA Higher Command stresses yet again that the SAA has no chemical weapons and that it is not planning to produce or use such weapons.
The so-called Syrian opposition had accused the SAA of using “chemical weapons” against civilians in the East Ghouta pocket many times during over the last few months. However, these groups didn’t provide any evidence what so ever to support their claims.
Even US Department of Defense spokesperson Dana White stated during a briefing on March 1 that the US “has not seen any evidence yet” of the use of chemical weapons by the SAA.
According to local sources, militants in the East Ghouta pocket likely believe that such propaganda move could provoke a US-led military action against the SAA. Such a military action by the US is seen by many Syrian opposition activists as the only way to stop the SAA advance on their last strongholds near the Syrian capital, Damascus.