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Damascus Accuses Opposition of Preparing Chemical Attack

Damascus Accuses Opposition of Preparing Chemical Attack

Friday, 25 September, 2020 - 07:00
Opposition fighters walk on a hill in Jabal al-Arbaeen, which overlooks the northern town of Ariha, the Idlib province May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi/Files

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has accused rebels in Idlib province of preparing a chemical attack and frame it on the country’s army.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry said: "terroristsof the so-called “Tahrir al-Sham", in cooperation with the White Helmets group, supported by their operators, and in coordination with the Turkish regime, are planning to carry out a play using chemical weapons against civilians in Idlib."

SANA quoted an official source at the Foreign Ministry as saying that two tons of chemical substances have been brought to a village over the past two days as part of the preparation for the attack.

The Ministry urged the countries supporting the rebels to stop such “games that have only left civilian victims”.

It also reiterated the government’s stance that the Syrian forces do not possess chemical weapons and have never used them.

“The Syrian Arab Republic will hold the countries which support terrorism, particularly the US, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Turkey responsible for using those toxic materials and killing innocent civilians without any moral deterrent,” the statement added.

The new claim comes as shelling resumed between the Syrian army and the rebels on Wednesday in the southern countryside of Idlib.

Idlib has emerged as the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

In March, Turkey and Russia brokered a ceasefire between the Syrian forces and opposition groups.

However, clashes and shelling continued between the Syrian army and the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the umbrella group of the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

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