BEIRUT (Sputnik) – Militants and the White Helmets group have transported poisonous materials from the city of Jisr al-Shughur to the settlement of Khirbat al Amud, both located in the rebel-held province of Idlib, media reported on Thursday.
According to Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television, it is unclear what kind of poisonous substance had been relocated.
In late September, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said that militants as well as White Helmets continued their preparations for plotting chemical attacks to discredit the Syrian government’s troops. Both Damascus and Moscow blamed militants and White Helmets for staging several provocations involving chemical weapons to influence public opinion and justify foreign intervention in Syria.
The Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation reported erarlier that Daesh terrorists had ttacked Nusra Front militants in the Syrian settlement of Ltamenah, killing two White Helmets operatives and seizing two canisters with chlorine.
“On the evening of October 9, an armed group affiliated with the IS attacked the headquarters of a Nusra Front unit near the village of Ltamenah. Four militants and two employees of the White Helmets organization were killed in the skirmish. Two chlorine canisters were taken from the headquarters,” the center said in a statement.
According to the statement, the seized chlorine canisters were later transported to the south of Aleppo province and handed over to terrorists of the Daesh-linked Hurras al-Din group.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has slammed the White Helmets as the main tool for staging chemical attacks, adding that this was a terrorist organization created with the financial aid of the UK intelligence.
Meanwhile, Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub told the members of the People’s Council, the country’s parliament, on Thursday that Damascus would regain control over the country’s northwestern province of Idlib.
“It [Idlib] is one of the four de-escalation zones. The Syrian government has already regained control over three others. We will liberate all parts of Syria. This means that our Armed Forces are ready to fulfill their obligations when the situation… comes to a deadlock, and they will ensure that every single region is controlled by the government,” Ayoub told Syrian lawmakers.
Ayoub added that while the United States was losing all of its aces, the only one left was its cooperation with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Ayoub slammed the United States and the SDF for their military operations carried out on the Syrian territories east to the Euphrates River, specifying that if the SDF did not engage in talks with the Syrian government, then the Syrian Armed Forces would liberate these territories forcefully.
Ayoub qualified the US and the UK forces presence in Syria as unlawful.
Idlib is the last major stronghold of militants in Syria, as the government has regained control over vast territories of the country following over seven years of armed conflict with opposition and militant groups.
Last month, Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib by October 15. Then it was reported that more time would be given for the implementation of their agreement. As of Wednesday, most heavy weaponry has been withdrawn from Idlib, while the number of ceasefire breaches has gone down by nearly 90 percent, according to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.