US Ambassador Haley Seethes at Syria and Russia Over Contrived Chemical Threat
09:51 13.09.2018(updated 15:43 13.09.2018)
Late last month, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation reported that representatives of the White Helmets group had delivered a large shipment of toxic substances to a warehouse used by Ahrar al-Sham militants in Idlib province.
In an interview with Fox News, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has once again warned Russia regarding what she described as Moscow's plans to stage another chemical weapons attack in cooperation with Tehran and Damascus.
"What we told, you know, the Syrians, the Russians and the Iranians was, well, twice we have warned you not to use chemical weapons; twice you have used it, and twice President Trump has acted. Don't test us again. Because I think the odds are very much against them," Haley said.
She also recalled that the issue of the Syrian government troops allegedly preparing a chemical weapons attack on civilians was discussed at three meetings of the UN Security Council, where most of its members ostensibly cautioned Russia against conducting any such attack in Syria.
Haley's remarks came just a few days after she warned Russia and Iran of "dire consequences" if they continue airstrikes against militant-held areas in Syria's Idlib province, adding that the US would respond to any use of chemical weapons there.
"I also want to reiterate what I said last week to the Assad regime and anyone else contemplating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The United States followed through when we said that we would respond to the use of chemical weapons. We stand by this warning," she noted.
Reported Preparations for Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria
Earlier this week, Syria's Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha told Sputnik that the Syrian authorities had received dozens of reports from eyewitnesses about ongoing preparations for a false-flag chemical attack in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.
He specifically referred to the reports about transporting hazardous chemical material to certain areas around Jisr al-Shughur and kidnapping more than 40 children from neighboring areas of Idlib province for use as 'victims' of the planned attack.
Earlier, Maj. Gen. Alexei Tsygankov, head of the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, said that "a large shipment of toxic substances, accompanied by eight representatives of the White Helmets, was delivered from the village of Afs to the settlement of Saraqib, to a warehouse used by the militants from the Ahrar al-Sham group to store weapons and fuel supplies."
"A part of this shipment in unmarked plastic barrels was later transported to another militant base in the southern part of Idlib province in order to stage a false-flag chemical attack and subsequently accuse the government forces of the use of toxic agents against civilians," he underscored.
Washington's constant warnings towards Russia over its alleged plans to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria came as Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia urged the US in early September to release the list of facilities in Syria where chemical weapons are allegedly stockpiled and allow the OPCW to inspect these sites.
US Missile Strike on Syria in April
On April 14, the US jointly with the UK and France authorized a massive missile strike on Syria's military and civilian facilities.
The attack came as a response to some media reports, which claimed, citing sources among militants, that Damascus was behind the alleged chemical attack in Douma.
Neither Russian military experts, nor the Red Crescent found traces of chemical weapons usage in Damascus' suburb.
White Helmets Group
While the White Helmets touts itself as a humanitarian civil defense organization that has allegedly saved tens of thousands of lives, both Moscow and Damascus insist that the group had ties with terrorists and extremists.
Damascus has repeatedly denied any involvement in any chemical weapon attacks on civilians.
Syrian President Bashar Assad, for his part, stressed that Damascus had gotten rid of its chemical weapons stockpiles under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This has been confirmed by the OPCW.
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