6 Apr 2018 15:38

Militants in Syria plotting provocations using toxic substances - Russian military

HMEIMIM. April 6 (Interfax-AVN) - The Russian military has information that militants in southern Syria are preparing provocations using toxic substances.

"Leaders of the groups Jabhat al-Nusra [banned in Russia] and the Free Syrian Army, acting together, have planned to blow up homemade chemical agent munitions filled with a chlorine compound in a number of populated localities controlled by these armed groups, including the al-Balad district in Daraa," Maj. Gen. Yury Yevtushenko, the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, said on Friday.

Information about the plots was obtained from militants of the group Jaysh Ahrar al-Ashaer who have gone over to the side of the government, Yevtushenko said.

"Militants plan to record the consequences of the alleged use of chemical agent munitions on video cameras in order to get wide publicity and accuse government forces of killing civilians, as well as justify their own actions aimed at disrupting the ceasefire in the Daraa governorate," Yevtushenko said.

"Equipment for filming a provocation with a chemical attack has already been supplied, and preparations are underway," he said.