Yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the Al-Qaeda aligned White Helmets propaganda group were preparing a false flag chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta. After Russian intelligence learned that the White Helmets were passing out crude gas masks and other chemical weapons related paraphernalia, Moscow issued the following statement,
“Evidence has shown that the leaders of illegal armed formations in Eastern Ghouta are preparing a provocation using poisonous agents in order to accuse the government forces of using chemical weapons against its civilians”.
Sure enough, hours later, the White Helmets claimed that the Syrian Arab Army deployed chemical weapons in an area controlled by Takfiri terrorist groups. While the US and France are already threatening military force against Syria as a result of the carefully choreographed misinformation campaign, Russia has warned the western powers to refrain from taking illegal military action against Damascus which could threaten the fragile ceasefire that was recently unanimously approved by the UN Security Council. Crucially, the resolution allows for continued military engagement against groups officially labelled as terrorist organisations.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has delivered the following warning to the United States,
“We are seriously alarmed by the reports that amid the overall increase in the rhetoric against Damascus and anti-Russian rhetoric in Washington threats are heard again of using force, which is unlawful. They are searching for pretexts and this fully runs counter to the meaning and content of the UN Security Council Resolution 2401”.
This was followed by a statement from Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov who said,
“Terrorists who are in Eastern Ghouta do not lay down arms, they hold local citizens hostages and this causes a very tense situation”.
Due to its proximity to the capital and due to Damascus’s proximity to “Israel”, Eastern Ghouta is one of the last strategically important fronts in the Syrian conflict, apart from the oil fields east of the Euphrates which are currently under formal US occupation. When it comes to active terrorist activity that is causing chaos and carnage to the civilian population of Damscus, the biggest concern among the responsible powers, is neutralising the nest of allied Takfiri groups who have held Eastern Ghouta hostage for years. Consequently, as the rest of the war winds down, the western powers have shifted their focus to Eastern Ghouta as the terrorists there pull out every trick in the book in attempts and provoke a wider state-on-state military conflict in the region.
Russia has made it clear that the provocations of Takfiri groups cannot be regarded as factual and that anti-Syrian states like France or the US must not use Takfiri propaganda as a means of extracting politically motivated vengeance on Damascus.