'Footage, meant to serve as proof that the Syrian government has conducted a chemical weapons attack in Idlib, Syria, is to be handed to global news outlets by the end of Tuesday, the Russian military claims.
Several Middle East TV channels and one US news channel have been sent to the city of Jisr al-Shughur in Syria’s Idlib governorate to produce the footage needed for the provocation, a statement by the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation said in a statement.
The statement said an Islamist group was provided with two canisters of a “chlorine-based chemical” for the purpose of the operation. The statement said the intelligence came from local residents of Jisr al-Shughur.
The Russian military said the footage would include scenes of White Helmets operatives treating supposed victims of an apparent barrel bomb chemical weapon attack by Damascus.
Moscow has repeatedly warned that a false flag chemical weapon attack was being prepared in Idlib, giving the US and its allies justification to attack Syrian government forces. Senior US officials have threatened Damascus with retaliation if it uses chemical weapons in Idlib and even preemptively assigned the blame for any such attack to the government.'
Read more: Filming of staged chemical attack in Syrian Idlib begins - Russian MoD
‘Don’t rely on intelligence from terrorists’: Thornberry warns govt over any Syria chemical attacks
'Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry implored the UK government not to rely on “open source intelligence provided by proscribed terrorist groups” in the event of a reported chemical attack on Syria.
Thornberry, speaking in parliament during a debate on the Syrian war, asked the government to hold any response to reports of chemical weapons attacks in areas controlled by the Al-Qaeda proxy, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a US-proscribed terrorist organisation.
HTS are thought to have some 10,000 fighters in the last rebel stronghold; Idlib province, a region in Syria’s north-west along the Turkish border.
Upon reports of a potential chemical attack, Thornberry urged the UK to wait “until the chemical weapons inspectors, the OPCW [Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons], have visited those sites under the protection of the Turkish government, independently verified those reports and attributed responsibility for any chemical weapons used.
“Relying on so-called open source intelligence provided by proscribed terrorist groups is not an acceptable alternative,” she said.
In turn, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt refused to be drawn on the UK’s response to any reported chemical attack in Idlib. “I’m not prepared to say what the United Kingdom’s detailed reaction might be or give any timescale.”
Later clarifying her position in a tweet, Thornberry wrote: “...if there are reports of a chemical weapons attack in Idlib over the coming weeks – the government must ensure the reports are independently verified and that Parliament has given its approval, before escalating British involvement in the war.”'
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