Russia Warns: US Preparing "False Flag" Chemical Attack as Pretext to Attack Syria
August 28, 2018
RT News & Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge & The Saker & Sputnik
The US, UK and France are preparing new airstrikes on Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that militants are poised to stage a chemical weapons attack to frame Damascus and provide a pretext for strikes. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov warned that eight canisters of chlorine have been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur to stage the plot. Meanwhile, Trump advisor John Bolton has ominously threatened that any chemical attack would be met with force.
Terrorists Readying Chemical Attack to Frame
Damascus and Provide Pretext for US Strikes
(August 25, 2018) -- The US and its allies are preparing new airstrikes on Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that militants are poised to stage a chemical weapons attack in order to frame Damascus and provide a pretext for the strikes.
The attack would be used as a pretext for US, UK and French airstrikes on Syrian targets, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov said. USS The Sullivans, an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, was already deployed to the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago, he added.
The destroyer has 56 cruise missiles on board, according to data from the Russian Defence Ministry. A US Rockwell B-1 Lancer, a supersonic bomber equipped with 24 cruise missiles, has also been deployed at the Qatari Al Udeid Airbase.
The provocations are being prepared by militants from Al-Nusra Front (now known as Tahrir al-Sham) in Idlib province, northwestern Syria).
In order to stage the attack, some eight canisters of chlorine were delivered in to village near Jisr al-Shughur city for the terrorists' use, he added. A separate group of militants, prepped by private British security company Olive, have also arrived in the area. The group will be disguised as volunteers from the White Helmets group and will simulate a rescue operation involving locals purportedly injured in the attack, according to the military official.
According to the Defense Ministry spokesman, recent statements by US National Security Advisor John Bolton -- in which he threatened to bomb Syria -- could be interpreted as an implicit confirmation of such airstrikes. On August 22, Bolton stated that ". . . if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned Washington against new reckless moves in Syria, RIA Novosti reported. "We hear ultimatums from Washington, including those made in public," the top official said, apparently referring to Bolton's recent remarks.
According to Ryabkov, the US is aiming to destabilize Syria and create new pretexts for regime change in Damascus. "Again, we are witnessing serious escalation of the situation [in Syria]," he added.
In April, the US, UK and France unleashed a bombing campaign on Syria. The airstrikes were carried out in response to an alleged gas attack in Douma on April 7, which the West blamed on Bashar Assad's government. The operation started hours before a team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was due to reach the city.
Back then, Syrian defenses were scrambled to repel some 103 cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles launched at civilian and military targets by the Western trio. It managed to intercept at least 71 of them, the Russian Defense Ministry said at the time.
'Foreign Specialists' May Stage Chemical Attack in Syria
In Two Days to Frame Assad -- Russian MoD
(August 26, 2018) -- "Foreign specialists" have arrived in Syria and may stage a chemical attack using chlorine in "the next two days," the Russian Defense Ministry said. This will be filmed for international media to frame Damascus forces.
Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the operation is planned to unfold in the village of Kafr Zita in Syria's northwestern Hama Province in "the next two days."
Konashenkov said that "English-speaking specialists" are already in place to use "poisonous agents." While a group of residents from the north has been transported to Kafr Zita and is currently being prepared "to take part in the staging of the attack" and be filmed suffering from supposed "'chemical munitions' and 'barrel bombs' launched by the Syrian government forces."
The groups of residents will be used to assist "fake rescuers from the White Helmets." They will be filmed apparently suffering from the effects of chemical weapons and then be shown in "the Middle Eastern and English-language media."
The defense ministry earlier warned that the US, UK, and France are preparing to use the planned attack as a pretext for airstrikes against Syria. The USS The Sullivans, an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, was already deployed to the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago.
On August 22, US National Security Adviser John Bolton stated that "if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov earlier warned that the US is not finished looking for pretexts for regime change in Damascus.
In April, the US, UK, and France unleashed a bombing campaign on Syria in response to an alleged gas attack in Douma, which the West blamed on Bashar Assad's government. The operation started hours before a team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was due to reach the city.
Russia Warns of New US False Flag Chemical Attack
Russia Sends Largest Naval Armada Of Syrian War
Amidst New Chemical Attack Warnings
Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge
(August 25, 2018) -- We observed previously after John Bolton's threat late this week of "greater military force" should chemical weapons allegations emerge against Damascus, that a familiar pattern has long been in play on Syria: just when it appears the jihadists are on the brink of final defeat, and as stability is returning after seven years of grinding war, something happens to bring things right back to the brink of global crisis and escalation.
Russia Sends Largest Naval Armada of Syrian War
In Response to Reports of Imminent US Attack
Leith Aboufadel / Al Masdar News
(August 25, 2018) -- Russia has built up its forces around the Mediterranean Sea in response to reports that the U.S., France, and Great Britain could be preparing to attack Syria after US National Security Advisor John Bolton informed Russia that America is prepared to respond with greater military force than it has used against Assad's regime in the past, according to Bloomberg.
According to Yoruk Isik of the Bosphorus Observer, the Russian Navy has sent another armada of ships towards Syria's territorial waters in order to increase the strength of their forces around the country.
Isik said that the powerful Russian warships, Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen class frigate, were spotted transiting the Bosphorus Strait en route to the Port of Tartous.
This latest move by the Russian Navy comes just 24 hours after they sent three ships en route to the Port of Tartous in western Syria.
The Turkish coast guard monitored the frigates as they passed through the Bosporus toward the Mediterranean, reportedly en route to Russia's only major deep-water port in the region along the Syrian coast.
With the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) preparing to launch a large-scale offensive in northwest Syria, Russia fears that the jihadist rebels may fake a chemical weapons attack in order to get the U.S. and its allies to attack the government.
Ships are also being deployed as Syrian and Russian forces prepare for what's expected to be the final push to liberate all of Idlib province, which Russian forces are expected to play a central role in executing.
Currently, the following Russian military vessels are stationed in the Mediterranean near the Syrian coast according to Naval military observers:
* CG Marshal Ustinov
* DDG Severomorsk
* DDG Yaroslav Mudryy
* FFG Admiral Grigorovich
* FFG Admiral Essen
* FFL Pytlivyy
* FSG Vyshniy Volochek
* FSG Grad Sviyazhsk
* FSG Velikiy Ustyug
* LST Orsk
* LST Nikolay Fil'chenkov
* MS Turbinist
* MS Valentin Pikul
* SS Kolpino
* SS Velikiy Novgorod
Meanwhile, in reference to reports that Washington could be preparing another round of attacks, the Russian MoD pointed out on Saturday that: "the US Navy's destroyer Sullivans with 56 cruise missiles on its board arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago while a B-1B strategic bomber of the US Air Force armed with AGM-158 JASSM air-to-surface missiles was redeployed to the Al Udeid air base in Qatar," according to TASS.
Foreign Specialists Prepare To Stage Chemical Attack In Idlib
(August 27, 2018) -- "Foreign specialists" arrived in Syria to stage a chemical attack, which will be blamed on the Damascus government, Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on August 25 warning that the staging of the incident may happen soon. According to the military spokesman, the "English-speaking specialists" arrived in the Hbit settlement in southern Idlib.
"In the most populated area of Kafr Zita, preparations are being made for a group of residents brought from the north of the province to participate in the staging of an "attack" of allegedly chemical munitions and bombs by Syrian government forces, staged assistance by mimicked 'rescuers' from the "White Helmets" and the shooting of video for distribution to the Middle East and English-language media," Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said.
He emphasized that this situation one again confirms that foreign forces are seeking to "severely destabilize the situation and disrupt the steady dynamics of the ongoing peace process."
The Russian military pointed out that this staged attack is deigned to create a pretext for new US-led missile strikes on government facilities in the war-torn country. According to Konashenkov, Washington is already preparing for this move: the US Navy's destroyer Sullivans with 56 cruise missiles on board arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago while a B-1B strategic bomber of the US Air Force armed with AGM-158 JASSM air-to-surface missiles was deployed to the al-Udeid air base in Qatar.
Meanwhile, the Russian Naval Task Force near Syria has been strengthened with the Black Sea Fleet's frigates Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen armed with Kalibr cruise missiles and Shtil-1 surface-to-air missile systems. The task force near Syria currently consists of at least 16 warships and submarines, including three Admiral Grigorovich class frigates and three Buyan-M class corvettes all armed with Kalibr missiles.
Separately, the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria, Maj. Gen. Alexei Tsygankov revealed that thousands of militants with heavy weaponry and armored vehicles have gathered in the province of Idlib preparing for an offensive on government-controlled areas in Hama and Aleppo.
The militants' preparations are ongoing amid continued tensions between them and government forces at the contact line in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
On August 26, the Syrian Army carried out artillery strikes on Hayat Tahrir al-Sham positions in the villages of Khuwayn and al-Tamanah in southern Idlib and a HQ of Jaysh al-Izza near the village of al-Zakah in northern Hama. According to pro-government sources, the strikes destroyed several vehicles used by militants to build fortifications in these areas as well as eliminated several militant groups' fighters.
The situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone remains unstable and it will remain unstable until Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies are able to operate in the area.
Macron: France Ready to Conduct New Strikes
On Syria if Chemical Weapons Used
(August 27, 2018) -- French President Emmanuel Macron commented Monday on the situation in Syria's Idlib as well as on the dependence of the European defense on the US.
France is ready to conduct further airstrikes in Syria in response to Damascus' use of chemical weapons, French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday during his speech to French ambassadors. "We will continue acting this way if we see new confirmed cases of the chemical weapons use," Macron said.
Macron also noted that he had never insisted on the resignation of Syrian President Bashar Assad in exchange for rendering humanitarian aid to the country. At the same time, the French president suggested that leaving power in the future in the hands of Assad "would be a bad mistake."
"France can't appoint future Syrian leaders . . . But it is our duty and in our interests to make sure that Syrian people are able to do this," he said.
Speaking further, the French president said he feared a serious humanitarian crisis in the Syrian province of Idlib, adding that France expected that Russia and Turkey would put pressure on the Syrian authorities in connection with the situation in the province of Idlib.
The French President, however, noted the first results of the joint Russia-French mechanism on the Syrian settlement.
"The mechanism of coordination with Russia, created in St. Petersburg, has produced its first results, in particular in the humanitarian sphere," Macron told ambassadors in Paris, according to his official Twitter account.
The speech comes several days after the Russian Defense Ministry accused the United States, the United Kingdom and France of preparing to carry out new strikes against Syria under the pretext of a false flag, namely, a falsified government chemical weapons attack.
A group of militants trained under the guidance of a private British military company, Olive, to work with poisonous substances has arrived in Idlib, the Ministry added.
The US, UK, and France coordinated a massive airstrike on Syria in April 2018 after the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma had been reported by the controversial NGO "White Helmets", which has repeatedly been caught staging false flag attacks.
In April, a number of opposition media, including the aforementioned While Helmets, reported of a chemical attack in the city of Douma. No substantial proof was presented and, as a prompt probe by Russian forces showed, no traces of chemical substances in the area have been found.
On European Defense and
European Strategic Partnership
Macron revealed a new push for the European defense project, adding that the continent's security shouldn't depend on the US. "Europe can no longer rely on the United States for its security. It is up to us to guarantee European security," he said in a major speech to relaunch his diplomatic agenda.
At the same time, he stressed that France should build a strategic partnership with Russia and Turkey:
"We cannot build Europe in the long term without thinking about relations with Russia and Turkey . . . Do we think clearly and frankly today that we can continue to talk about Turkey's membership in the European Union, when every day the Turkish president . . . reaffirms the pan-Islamic agenda, which seems to be anti-European? . . .
It is necessary, therefore, to build a strategic partnership, not membership in the European Union. Strategic partnership with Russia and Turkey, because these two powers are important for our collective security, they need to be tied to Europe."
Earlier, the European Union said it would spend nearly 20 billion euros on defense between 2021 and 2027, with the bulk of the money to be spent on the research and development of new military technologies.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has urged Europe to react to the US sanctions-related policy on Russia, China, Turkey and other important economic partners.
Recently, Emmanuel Macron proposed an initiative to set up a European military intervention force that could be rapidly deployed in the event of a crisis.
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