CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE – WHITE HELMETS, “BANA AL-ABED” AND KILLING “EVIL RUSSIANS”

South Front

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - White Helmets, “Bana al-Abed” and Killing “Evil Russians”

Since the formal defeat of ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate and so-called “moderate rebels” in most of Syria, the Middle Eastern country, has largely disappeared from the front-pages of mainstream media outlets. Nonetheless, the narrative management operation to distort the real situation in the war-torn country and demonize the Damascus government and its allies fighting foreign-backed radical militant groups continues.

The upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is an obvious example of the scale and spread of this campaign. The official trailer for the new part of the franchise features “heroic actions” of the White Helmets, “big bad Russians” bombing civilians and a kid in a gas mask apparently signaling the expected usage of “Assad’s chemical weapons” mantra in the story-telling.

The description of the first missions of the coming part of the world franchise reveals that they will incorporate Russian soldiers laughing while killing civilians as well as using chemical weapons against civilians. So, a “Bana al-Abed”-styled girl will have to kill some “evil Russkies”.

It appears that the goal of this effort is to bring back into attention some propaganda narratives that appear to have, at least partially, died down in recent years under pressure of facts. It’s an open secret that the White Helmets have deep ties with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the official branch of al-Qaeda in Syria) and other radical groups de-facto playing a role in their propaganda wing and participating in staging chemical attack provocations.

The Twitter account of Bana al-Abed became widely known during the battle for Aleppo in 2016. The account operator, using the name and photos of the then 7yo girl, was writing scripted tweets blaming the “Assad regime” and Russia for civilian casualties, spreading fake news and even calling to start a new world war if that’s what’s needed to rescue what the account described as “innocent civilians”. After defeat of the radical groups controlling her part of the city, Bana and her parents withdrew from Aleppo alongside other members of militant groups that had reached a surrender deal with the Damascus government. Later, she and her family appeared in Turkey where Bana’s image continued to be used as a tool of the ongoing campaign against Syria. Her case is a sad example of how kids are being used for war propaganda purposes.

An interesting fact is that the “Call of Duty” game writer is not even hiding that the mainstream video game franchise seeks to indoctrinate its users. Taylor Kurosaki said that “he wants “Call of Duty” to be spoken of as on par with the best war films, and he hopes ‘Modern Warfare’ will inspire fans to check out the harrowing and eye-opening documentaries ‘The White Helmets’ or ‘Last Man in Aleppo”.” It’s no surprise that both mentioned “documentaries” were designed to glorify the White Helmets and militant groups they were assisting by their work and had little in common with the real situation in parts of the country, including, at some point, eastern Aleppo, controlled by MSM-promoted “moderate rebels”.

However, the latest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game, underlined a tendency that is by no means new. In some cases, modern video games, movies and even comic books are infested with war propaganda even more than news pieces released by CNN and similar media outlets.

Even DC comics, in late 2018, in its Doomsday Clock crossover with Watchmen showcased a superhero from Syria, called Sandstorm, who could control the desert sands. The generic stereotype boy called Nabil Azmah was from Douma, which isn’t even in the desert. He was later killed in the comics, fighting against the “Assad regime.” According to his fictional biography, his family were killed by fighters allied to Assad and his sister was gassed.

To top it off, in the next issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin was portrayed as the bad guy and even picked a fight with Superman, after a US superhero – Firestorm – democratically turned Russian citizens on Red Square into glass.

These tendencies are nothing new. DC comics, in the 80s, portrayed Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who concludes a deal with Batman’s infamous enemy the Joker. The Joker then says that Iranians and him have a lot in common, namely “being insane.”

The mainstream entertainment industry is doing its best to “inform”  American youth of who the “good guys” are in Syria and around the world, even if these “good guys” accidentally appear to be members of al-Qaeda.

This situation is a demonstration of how little propaganda capabilities Syria, Venezuela, China, Iran or Russia really do have in comparison with their “Western partners”. In most cases, the US and the EU use bogeyman stories about the mighty Russian, Chinese, Iranian and even Syrian propagandists as formal justification to tighten censorship and to increase their own propaganda efforts.

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Syria Military Operation to Liberate Idlib Has Begun. Estimated 40,000 Terrorists in Idlib

The last terrorist-held territory under attack

Global Research, May 08, 2019

The zero-hour has arrived in Idlib, as the long awaited military operations to clear the last remaining terrorist-controlled area in Syria has begun.  It is estimated that there are 40,000 terrorists, some with their families, and they comprise many different terrorist groups, which are now aligned under one umbrella.  Colonel Suheil Al-Hassan of the Tiger Forces is part of the ground forces advancing on the province, in the wake of air strikes.   Idlib’s population, about 2 million today, has changed since 2011.

Idlib was one of the first areas infiltrated by the Radical Islamic political ideology of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).  The very first murder in Idlib by the Syrian ‘rebels’ in 2011 was the pharmacist Dr. Samir Kanatry, who was killed and then burnt up inside his pharmacy in August 2011 at Ma’arat Numan.  He was murdered because he was advocating secular values.  The US-backed FSA were sectarian from the outset, and any secular political ideals were their enemy.

The majority of Syrians do not support armed revolution in order to create a new sectarian based Syrian government. The ‘rebels’ only hope was to incite a military intervention by US-NATO forces based on a fabricated story of a chemical attack.  They tried this ploy repeatedly, and it never succeeded.  Even aligning them with Al Qaeda didn’t work, as the FSA and Al Qaeda developed their own ‘wars’ amongst themselves.

Beginning in 2011 many residents of Idlib fled: some to Latakia as a safe-haven from the ‘rebels’, who by then were clearly acting as terrorists.  Some of the residents of Idlib sided with the terrorists, and yet others fled to Turkey which is close by, with promises not only of safety, but financial support, and possible long term benefits from Turkish citizenship and income.

The current residents in Idlib are a very mixed bag: almost 4,000 of them are Chinese citizens. They are Uyghers from the far West of China, which is a Turkic speaking Muslim population.  Pres. Erdogan of Turkey inticed them to come to Turkey on passports he had issued, and then cross the border into Syria.  He supported their Jihad to Syria, and they brought parents, wives, and children and they are well-armed.   Pres. Erdogan sees the Uyghurs as ‘long lost cousins’, sharing the same root language as modern Turkey.

The “White Helmets” are in Idlib, too.  This award-winning video troop has been evacuated from other terrorist areas which were cleared by the SAA.

Why are the “White Helmets” (WH) only in areas under terrorist control?

Why have we never seen any WH rescuing people in places that were targeted by the ‘rebels’?  Recently, a missile fell on the Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia and destroyed a home: why weren’t the WH there to pull the injured from the rubble?

Raed Saleh, the main organizer of the WH recently spoke with National Public Radio in the USA, and he said,

“The revolution still goes on.  We have not lost. This revolution continues.”

He also admitted that his group still receives funding from the US government.  It appears his focus is not helping to rescue people or any humanitarian project: his goal is a “revolution”.  This proves the group is not neutral, or humanitarian.

They work strictly within a political framework that was developed by the US-NATO organizers of the destruction of Syria.  The question not asked of him by NPR is: “How much support does the revolution have among the current population in Syria?”  The majority of Syrian citizens who have never left Syria, and have endured 8 years of armed conflict, want peace.  They want to rebuild their lives, homes, and businesses.

Russia and Turkey entered into a de-escalation agreement on Idlib last year.  This agreement was supposed to entail the Al Qaeda affiliates, as well as ISIS and all other recognized terrorist groups, moving away from civilian areas, thus allowing forces to target and eliminate terrorists, while protecting innocent civilians.  However, the agreement did not cause the separation of the innocent from the terrorists.

In fact, some terrorist groups fought with each other and innocent civilians were killed and injured, as well as some armed groups made new alliances that moved their designation from ‘rebels’ to terrorists.  Many people wondered why would Russia and Turkey make a pact to safeguard and protect armed groups?  Turkey has always been a supporter of the armed groups, including Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Jibhat al Nusra, which is the leading force occupying Idlib.

Idlib residents are Americans, French, Belgian, Australian, British, North African, and Saudi Arabian.  Some are Syrians but were originally from Aleppo, Deraa, Homs, East Ghouta and other locations far removed from Idlib. The Syrians living in Idlib today were mainly bussed to Idlib, as their areas fell to the SAA, and they chose to live in exile in Idlib rather than surrender and resume peaceful life.

The Western media warns of the largest humanitarian disaster waiting to happen in Idlib if the SAA and its Russian allies take the area.  One wonders where the Western media was when those terrorists in Idlib shot missiles repeatedly at Kessab, Latakia, Slonfa, Hama, Aleppo, Jeblah, and M’Hardeh.  Where were the cries about deaths, injuries, and loss of property such as schools, and homes in places targeted by the terrorists?

In fact, many industries which lay on the perimeter of Idlib are unable to recover or rebuild, even though peace is restored, because they live under the threat of missile and drone attacks, launched by the terrorists who are protected in Idlib.  An example is Kessab, which was attacked, destroyed and occupied in March 2014 by the FSA and Al Qaeda.  The Christian village is far from Idlib, yet the missiles still land there and have landed in the school while children were playing.

America and her western allies, including the Arab Gulf monarchies, have the policy to prevent Syria from peaceful recovery and rebuilding.   They are demanding ‘regime-change’ prior to rebuilding, even though they lost the war.  Once Idlib is retaken by the SAA, the US-NATO project for the “New Syria” made in their image will be declared dead.

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Retired French Colonel to ST: False chemical attacks have been organized by terrorists with help of western powers and Turkey to justify strikes on Syria

Sunday, 07 April 2019

DAMASCUS, (ST) – The Retired French Colonel Alain Corvez has emphasized that western powers are trying to use all kinds of false pretexts to carry out airstrikes against Syria in order to delay the political solution they don’t want.

Among these false pretexts are chemical weapons attacks being filmed and carried out by foreign-backed terrorist groups in Syria to blame the Syrian government for the attacks.

“Russian intelligence are very professional services and they have said that France and Belgium intelligence are in contact with White Helmets and terrorist groups in Idlib area and they are plotting false flag chemical attack in this area. They are reliable and I believe they say the truth because they have proved in the past their accuracy,” the retired officer told the Syria Times e-newspaper

He made it clear that this truth corresponds to the regrettable French action from the start of the war in Syria to support jihadists to take over the legal government of President Bashar Al-Assad which is their obsession.

“From the beginning the French diplomacy has to follow the US strategy and even to be the best pupil of the classroom in overtaking the master. This time, Belgium seems willing to demonstrate its association with this devil project. But Germany have also been participating in the support to terrorists together with France. Proofs of that have been delivered several times, namely by Russians,” the retired colonel stated.

He added: “The shame is that French media do not inform the people and diffuse the government propaganda trying to present its action as humanitarian.”

Mr. Corvez affirmed that false chemical attacks have already been organized by terrorists with the help of western powers and Turkey who want to justify strikes on a “power which kills its own people with prohibited chemical weapons”.

“The false attacks are being organized  because the western powers’ strategy of legal government’s change has failed by  the fierce resistance of the Syrian army supported by the people and leaded by its President, with the help of true friends of Syria : Russia and Iran who are also interested in the victory of their common camp,” Mr. Corvez said.

He affirmed that the western powers’ attempts will fail again and the US forces will leave Syria eventually, even if it is not the idea of the “deep state” in Washington which does not defend American interests but Israeli ones.

“Trump is a close friend of Israel but a patriot and he understands that the interest of US is to cease this war and others in the ME which makes people hate America, except a few leaders disconnected from their population relying on US support,” the retired officer concluded.

Related link:

http://syriatimes.sy/index.php/editorials/opinion/38663-syria-s-adherence-to-cwc-comes-within-its-commitment-to-achieve-international-peace-and-security

https://21stcenturywire.com/2018/03/26/exclusive-real-syria-civil-defence-describe-terrorist-double-taps-and-chemical-weapon-attacks-in-aleppo/

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddourv

 

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION $5 MILLION FOR ‘HEROIC’ WHITE HELMETS IN SYRIA

South Front

16.03.2019

Trump Administration $5 Million For 'Heroic' White Helmets In Syria

Actions of the administration of US President Donald Trump in Syria look more and more similar to those conducted by the Obama administration.

On March 14, State Department announced that the US intends to provide an additional funding of $5m to ‘heroic’ members of the so-called White Helmets, the group, which has become widely known thanks to its involvement in staged chemical attacks and large-scale media operations in support of al-Qaeda in Syria [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and similar groups].

A full statement by the State Department (source):

At the direction of the President, subject to congressional approval, the United States intends to provide $5 million for the continuation of the vital, life-saving operations of the White Helmets in Syria and in support of the UN’s International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) which is charged with assisting the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under International Law committed in Syria since March 2011. Today, at the third Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey publicly announced these contributions. In addition to those made last year, these contributions to the White Helmets and IIIM demonstrate the United States’ commitment and ongoing support for justice and accountability in Syria.

The United States Government strongly supports the work of the White Helmets. They have saved more than 114,000 lives since the conflict began, including victims of Assad’s vicious chemical weapons attacks. With over 2,800 volunteers, they continue to provide search and rescue, emergency response, and early recovery operations helping civilians in areas outside of the control of the regime.

These heroic first responders have the most dangerous job in the world. In addition to operating in an active war zone and in dire humanitarian circumstances, the Syrian regime and Russia deliberately target White Helmets’ centers and volunteers; since 2013 more than 250 White Helmets have been killed—many in so called “double-tap strikes”—and 60 White Helmets’ centers have been damaged or destroyed by Russian and regime airstrikes and the regime. Despite these dangers, the White Helmets provide these services based on strict humanitarian principles and have become a symbol in Syria and world-wide for these courageous values.

Taking into account a recent warning by the Russian side that militants in Syria’s Idlib zone have resumed preparations for staged chemical attacks, it can be expected that soon we will observe a new wave of anti-Syria, anti-Russia and anti-Iran propaganda.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Prof. Tim Anderson to ST: Britain’s move against Hezbollah appeases US, assists Netanyahu and the Zionist lobby

ST

Monday, 04 March 2019

The Australian political economist and author Prof. Tim Anderson has asserted that  Britain’s proscription of the Lebanese Hezbollah as “terrorist” is first an attempt to fabricate some domestic support for the May government, second to appease Washington and third to assist both Netanyahu and the Zionist lobby in Britain.

He made it clear that Hezbollah expelled Israel from Lebanon, and helped restore some pride in the country, so too the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashid al Shaabi), which saved Iraq from DAESH, have led the 2018-2019 agitation to expel US forces from Iraq, after 15 years of military occupation.

The professor’s remarks came during an interview with the Syria Times e-newspaper over the goal and effects of Britain’s recent move against Hezbollah besides the absence of western demand for fighting against the black-listed Al-Nusra Front terrorist in Syria’s Idlib.

Following is the full text of the interview:

ST-Why has Britain proscribed Hezbollah as a “terror” group, at this time??

Prof. Anderson: This move by the British government to proscribe Hezbollah as ‘terrorist’ does not come in response to any particular incident, nor any particular threat to Britain. Nevertheless, Britain’s traditional support for the zionist colony in Palestine has led it, from time to time, to adopt Israel’s enemies as its own. In the past Britain, recognising the influence of Hezbollah as a political party in Lebanon, had tried to distinguish between its ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings, and at times its ‘external wing’. Upgrading the aggression, by trying to brand the entire organisation as ‘terrorist’, at this time, must be seen in current political circumstances. The current British government, led by Theresa May, does not have a majority in the parliament and has been fighting for its survival by, amongst other things, trying to brand Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as ‘anti-semitic’ for his support of Palestine. The Israeli lobby in Britain has been central to this campaign. At the same time, President Trump has led a new wave of support for the apartheid state, backing the annexation of Jerusalem; and Zionist leader Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his own political survival, facing an Israeli election and a criminal indictment. It is most likely that the move against Hezbollah is first an attempt to fabricate some domestic support for the May government, second to appease Washington and third to assist both Netanyahu and the zionist lobby in Britain.

ST-What will be the effect of this step on Hezbollah and Lebanon taking into account that the EU refuses to brand Hezbollah as terror entity?

Prof. Anderson: The move is certainly a British slap in the face to Lebanon, as Hezbollah is more than ever a central part of the Lebanese government. Last year’s elections saw an expansion in support for Hezbollah (‘The Resistance’) mainly in Christian and Sunni Muslim communities. It already held overwhelming support in the Shi’a community. Britain’s move also supports the US economic ‘sanctions’ against Hezbollah, which threaten Lebanese banking. The position of the EU is slightly different, reflecting the somewhat more diverse positions within Europe on relations with the Arab and Muslim world. Nevertheless, the EU did upgrade its listing of Hezbollah’s ‘military wing’ in 2013, a move which Hezbollah officials described as “written with an American hand in Zionist ink” (https://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/world/middleeast/european-union-adds-hezbollah-wing-to-terror-list.html). Israel lobbyists have been trying to achieve a blanket ban on the Resistance group across all western countries. They have made some gains.

ST-Who will be affected by this recognition, and who will get benefit from it?

Prof. Anderson: Looking at the bigger picture, Britain has been following the USA in virtually all forms of aggression against the West Asian region; that includes the nine current wars against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Iran and Yemen. The economic ‘sanctions’ imposed by Washington, including economic blockades, affect almost all those same countries. Britain has been playing catch up. The aim has been to fragment and weaken the independent Arab and Muslim states, so as to more easily dominate the region and control access to its resources. Lebanon has not escaped this economic war, which will affect all parties. Hezbollah claims it is not much affected, but ordinary economic activities in the country will suffer through manipulation of and controls over finance and trade. The up side is that extreme pressures coming from Washington are driving the creation of alternative trade and finance mechanisms, the latest of which is the BRICS payments system (https://www.rt.com/business/452737-brics-own-payment-system/). There is a European version of this, in particular to maintain links with Iran, but it remains weak due to excess European commercial dependency on the USA (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/06/european-clearing-house-to-bypass-us-sanctions-against-iran).

ST- Why do Britain and its master not call for fighting against the black-listed Al-Nusra Front terrorist in Idlib?

Prof. Anderson: The wars and economic siege measures, carried out by the imperial powers, are inextricably combined. Siege and propaganda weaken what terrorist proxy armies attack. Of course, the USA and Britain have armed and funded all the terrorist groups in the region, but they only openly do this for what they call the ‘moderate’ groups and affiliates like the al Qaeda public relations front the White Helmets

Britain and France funded a range of other terrorist affiliates, including the Ghouta Media Centre and the Aleppo Media Centre (https://21stcenturywire.com/2016/09/20/exclusive-aleppo-media-centre-funded-by-french-foreign-office-eu-and-us/), then used them to ‘verify’ their own propaganda (https://counter-hegemonic-studies.net/humanitarian-war-rp-1-18/).

More than four years ago senior US officials admitted that their ‘major Arab allies’ were funding and arming the internationally proscribed terrorist groups, al Nusra and ISIS/DAESH

So, in summary, the would-be imperial power in Washington and the former colonial powers Britain and France, from the beginning, have played a double game: condemning al Nusra and ISIS while covertly supporting them, to advance their strategic objective of destroying independent political will in the region. It follows that they will try to sustain ISIS/DAESH and/or the SDF, in eastern and northern Syria, and the al Nusra linked groups in Idlib, for as long as possible. It is only the resistance of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah, with allies including Russia, that have been able to eliminate this terrorism.

ST-Would you like to add anything?

Prof. Anderson: It is important to recognize that, just as Hezbollah expelled Israel from Lebanon, and helped restore some pride in the country, so too the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashid al Shaabi), which saved Iraq from DAESH, have led the 2018-2019 agitation to expel US forces from Iraq, after 15 years of military occupation.

For example, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) called for US military withdrawal in 2017 (https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/10/24/539730/Iraq-Hashd-alShaabi-US), and repeated that call in 2019. He said there was no longer any justification for the presence of US forces, asserting his belief that more than half the new National Assembly “reject the presence” of US troops. “If the United States wants to impose its presence by force, and to bypass the Iraqi constitution and parliament, Iraq can treat it the same way and drive it out by force… But the first phase is political,” al-Khazali said (https://apnews.com/109a9aabe987430cbe63e4a668711833).

The colonial states smear and sanction both Hezbollah and Hashid al Shaabi, with lies that they are ‘terrorists’ or extreme sectarians who do not care about their own people. Coming from the sponsors of al Qaeda, al Nusra and DAESH, that is hard to stomach. The sectarian accusation, from western and Zionist sources, has more to do with the frustration of ‘divide and rule’ strategies, as also their dismay in seeing a revival of political will amongst their opponents. Yet the region has seen an alliance of the downtrodden (mustadafin) which, with mature leadership, has built wider alliances.

It is worth mentioning that University of Sydney Provost Stephen Garton has chosen- as a pretext- one tiny, buried image in the background of info graphic, shown during advisory analysis made by professor Tim Anderson  about the Israeli attacks on Gaza, to suspend him from his position as a senior lecturer and to ban him from entering the university at which he has worked for more than 20 years.

At the beginning of this month, lawyers lodged an application in the Fair Work Commission, contesting the professor’s dismissal by the University of Sydney.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

Russia to Press for Putting “White Helmets” on Trial for Crimes in Syria

Source

yria

By South Front,

Statement of Russian Foreign Ministry

Russia will press for putting the White Helmets on trial for crimes committed in Syria, including faked videos of chemical attacks, the director of the Foreign Ministry’s department of new challenges and threats, Ilya Rogachyov, told TASS in an interview on February 20.

“The leading Western countries have failed to place the struggle against terrorism above their own time-serving political interests. In the sphere of international counter-terrorist cooperation various selective approaches thrive. Terrorists are rated as ‘bad’ and ‘not very bad’. Countries are being forced to agree with the concept of ‘resistance to violent extremism’ and its dangerous elements that create situations for ousting ‘disfavored’ governments,” Rogachyov said. “The Western sponsors are keen to present the contractors on their payroll in a favorable light as ‘envoys of peace’ in order to use this as a cover to push ahead with political destabilization scenarios.”

“We are determined to push ahead with and safeguard Russia’s foreign policy positions in order to ensure the White Helmets’ crimes in Syria and their attempts to mislead the international community by means of fake chemical weapons attacks attributed to the Syrian government forces, just as any other terrorist activity, should be thoroughly investigated and put on trial,” Rogachyov said.

Featured image is from PravdaReport

So-called “White Helmets” Preparing to Film Staged Chemical Attacks in Idlib Hospitals: Zakharova

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Moscow is concerned over the fact that terrorists have not abandoned their attempts to stage chemical attacks against Syrian civilians.

The White Helmets have deployed equipment in several hospitals in the Syrian province of Idlib to film false flag chemical attacks and blame it on Damascus, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on Thursday, according to Sputnik.

“There are also serious concerns about reports that terrorists are not abandoning attempts to fake the use of chemical weapons against civilians. According to available information, a group of activists, the notorious pseudo-humanitarian organization, the White Helmets, have prepared the necessary equipment in several hospitals of Idlib to film such provocations”, Zakharova said at a briefing.

The spokeswoman elaborated that tensions were running high in the Idlib de-escalation zone, saying that Tahrir al-Sham militants are carrying out daily shelling of nearby areas and actively building up their forces near the contact line with Syrian government forces, Sputnik said.

Moscow and Damascus have on a multitude of occasions pointed out that the White Helmets have staged a number of provocations in Syria involving the use of chemical weapons in order to blame them on the Syrian government and provide Western countries with justification for intervention in the Arab Republic.

The notorious NGO has repeatedly been busted staging and filming false-flag attacks: last April, the group published footage featuring doctors in Douma hospitals treating patients that had suffered from an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian Arab Army.

Reports of the purported use of chemical agents in Eastern Ghouta surfaced on 7 April 2018 in some media, citing militants on the ground. A number of Western countries, including France, the US and the UK, quickly picked up the claims, and instantly accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of having dropped a chlorine bomb on civilians.

Damascus vehemently denied the allegations, denouncing the attack as a staged provocation to justify potential foreign intervention. Immediately after the purported incident, Moscow dispatched its chemical corps commission to inspect the site and determine whether there had been an actual chemical attack; the expert group, however, found no traces of chemical agents in Ghouta.

US Troop Pullout From al-Tanf

Speaking of the envisaged US withdrawal from Syria, Zakharova said that Moscow had urged Washington to immediately pull its troops out of the al-Tanf zone and transfer the area to Damascus’s control.

“We urge Washington to immediately withdraw its troops from At Tanf are and transfer control over this territory to the Syrian government, which could take care of its citizens as we see it can do”.

Zakharova also drew attention to the “plight of the inhabitants of Rukban camp for internally displaced persons”, which is located within the 55-kilometre security zone set by the Pentagon.

“The full responsibility for the depressing situation in the camp is borne, of course, by the United States, which illegally occupies this zone, and secondly, deploys its military base there, regularly providing material and technical support, while not contributing to the delivery of food and medicine to the residents of Rukban. It is necessary to immediately take measures to resettle the camp”, she noted.

H.M

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