Russian Defense Ministry warned of new provocation by White Helmets controversial militant group in northwestern Syria.
Deputy Head of the Syrian Reconciliation Center Rear. Adm. Vyacheslav Sytnik said Russia has evidence that the White Helmets has arrived in northwestern Syria to stage a new provocation.
“We have information that members of illegal armed groups are preparing to stage a provocation in order to accuse Syrian government forces of attacking settlements in the Idlib de-escalation zone,” Sytnik told a news briefing on Sunday.
He said the Russian military had observed a rise in operations by the Tahrir al-Sham terror group (the other name of Nusra Front) near the village of Al-Fuah, northeast of Idlib, Sputnik news agency reported.
There have also been sightings of members of the White Helmets organization who had filming equipment, the Russian official added.
Earlier in October 2020, the Russian Reconciliation Center warned that provocations with toxic substances were being prepared in Idlib, noting that members of the White Helmets, a militant-linked group that bills itself as a volunteer rescue force, had arrived to the Syrian settlement of Sfuhon, where several barrels of chlorine were reportedly delivered by militants.
The White Helmets group, projected by the West as “civil defense workers,” was founded by former British Army officer James Le Mesurier in 2014. The self-styled volunteer rescue group has been repeatedly accused of acting as the media arm for Takfiri groups, and charged with staging false flag chemical attacks in a bid to prompt Western military intervention in Syria.