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Al-Nusra Front planning to strike Idlib in Syria: Russia

ANI | Updated: Nov 26, 2019 15:12 IST

Moscow [Russia], Nov 26 (ANI): Russia's Defence Ministry on Tuesday said that terrorists belonging to the Al-Nusra Front, also described as al-Qaeda in Syria, are planning a joint operation with the White Helmets organisation or Syria Civil Defence forces of launching airstrikes and use of chemical weapons in the northwestern city of Idlib in the Middle East country.
"Several sources have confirmed that the information about militants from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham [terrorist] group ... together with the White Helmets organization are planning on attacking settlements in the Idlib de-escalation zone in order to stage incidents of airstrikes with the use of chemical weapons," the Defence Ministry was quoted as saying by Sputnik news agency.
The ministry added that residents of the Sarmada, in Idlib Governorate, had seen terrorists arriving in the town in early November in three trucks that were loaded with containers with chemicals as well as professional video-making equipment and pieces of Russian artillery.
The ministry further noted that the terrorists had been recruiting people to participate in the staging of the attack.
"It is being planned to make fake videos of destruction caused by airstrikes and artillery shooting at civil targets and the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib province. [The videos] will be published on social media and used to blame the Syrian government and Russia over their alleged actions against civilians," it said.
An armed conflict between various opposition groups, including terrorist organisations, and the government has been ongoing in Syria since 2011.
The turmoil has killed more than 570,000 people, caused 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years, according to reports by the United Nations Human Rights Council. (ANI)