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White Helmets plotting chemical provocation in Syria's Idlib -- reconciliation center

Two local residents from Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone have warned about a possible provocation with the use of toxic agents plotted by terrorists and the opposition-controlled White Helmets organization, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties said on Monday.

"At 22:15 Moscow time on February 3, the Russian reconciliation center's hotline received information from two local residents that White Helmets activists backed by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (one of the names of the the Jabhat al-Nusra extremist organization, which is outlawed in Russia - TASS) terrorists are hatching up a provocation with the use of toxic agents," it said.

For these ends, about 15 White Helmets activists arrived in the settlement of Maaret al-Artik in the Idlib de-escalation zone on February 1.

"The provocation involving a crowd of about 200 people is planned to be staged in the settlement of Maaret al-Artik. These people, including children, are mostly family members of militants who were previously evacuated from southern governorates and have arrived in the Idlib de-escalation zone. About 400 liters of chemical solution have been delivered by White Helmets activists in two pickup cars to the location from an underground storage facility," it said.

According to the Russian center, the militant group is led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist Mahi al-Din al-Am, who took part in filming the fake chemical attack in Idlib's Khan Shaykhoun on April 4, 2017.

The video of the would-be chemical attack is expected to be posted on White Helmets accounts in social networks to be further used by Western and Arab media.

The Russian side calls on Turkey to exert pressure to prevent the use of poisonous agents in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

The Russian reconciliation center called on all the parties to drop their criminal designs. It also called on the Turkish side "to exert all possible pressure on militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone's sector it controls to prevent the provocation" with the use of toxic agents.".

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 03Feb20]

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