Russia’s Ministry of Defense stated that the US had indirectly recognized the use of chemical weapons by Jabhat an-Nusra. The US State Department website says that al-Nusra affiliated groups used chemical weapons in Idlib.
The US State Department issued a new statement, warning the US citizens against all travel to Syria. Russia’s Ministry of Defense noted a mention of Jabhat an-Nusra using chemical weapons in the statement, RBK reports.
“Terrorist and other violent extremist groups including ISIS and al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (dominated by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization), operate in Syria,” the statement said. “In July 2017, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham consolidated power in Idlib province.”
The statement, issued on October 18, also featured a list of tactics the terrorists employ. “Tactics of ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and other violent extremist groups include the use of suicide bombers, kidnapping, small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons.” Chemical weapons are used “with little to no warning”, the website warned. It also mentioned that the terrorists kidnap children.
Russia’s Defense Ministry considered this the “first official acknowledgement” the US State Department made of the Jabhat an-Nusra terrorists using “chemical weapons” in Idlib in order to commit “terroristic acts”.
The Defense Ministry cited the last known use of chemical weapons case to be the April 4 Khan Shaykhun attack in Idlib province, in which dozens of civilians were killed. According to the US officials, the attack was conducted by the Syrian Army aviation forces. Russia’s Ministry of Defence had claimed that the Syrian planes shot a weapons depot, where “workshops which produced chemical warfare munitions” were situated. In an October 20 statement the Ministry of Defense called the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun a Jabhat an-Nusra terrorist act.