US trying to create ‘quasi-state’ on large part of Syria’s land – Lavrov
The US has likely taken a “course to create a quasi-state” in the Kurdish SDF militia-held regions of Syria, despite the proclaimed adherence to the territorial integrity of the country, Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov said.

The US activities in Syria are driven by undertaking “dangerous, unilateral steps” instead of trying to “achieve a common understanding” between all the parties, Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.

He warned that Washington’s true goal might be the partitioning of Syria. The recent steps of Washington, including the creation of the so-called Border Security Force (BSF), operating under the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have prompted even more questions in Moscow.

“We’ve raised these questions multiple times but have not received a coherent answer besides a general motto ‘Don’t’ worry we’re for the territorial integrity of Syria.’ In reality, it looks otherwise though,” Lavrov stated.

The recent US steps "look more and more like a part of a course to create a quasi-state of sorts on a large chunk of Syrian territory,” Foreign Minister said. “Autonomous, independent from Damascus governing bodies are being created in this territory, money keeps flowing there to keep them functional. Law enforcement, created there, is receiving weaponry.”

The UN should pay attention to this situation and take steps to prevent any “external players” from “jeopardizing the principles of reconciliation set by the Resolution 2254,” Lavrov said. Such actions on part of the UN are especially important after the reconciliation process received a “powerful impulse from the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.” The reconciliation process should definitely include representatives of Syria’s Kurdish minority, the official stressed.

“Russia has been from the very beginning and remains a supporter of a direct Kurdish participation in all the efforts on Syrian reconciliation. Kurds are an inseparable part of the Syrian society,” the official stressed.

Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the US plans to allocate $200 million to “stabilize” SDF-controlled areas of Syria. The top US diplomat made the announcement during a meeting of foreign ministers of the US-led anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) coalition in Kuwait.

It’s doubtful, though, that the funding would go to actually “stabilizing” these territories, but might actually be spent on additional arms for the US-backed militias in Syria, which would contribute to escalating of the conflict instead, the director of the British think-tank Gnosos, Middle East expert Ammar Waqqaf believes.

“The real thing is, we believe, that the United States is preparing the ground for a long-term separation, or a permanent, actually separation of the eastern and the north eastern part of Syria from the Syrian state under the guise of the Kurdish-led democratic sort of state,” Waqqaf told RT. “The $200 million that are being pledged today are not going to bring back electricity and water to the devastated Raqqa, we believe, but probably bring more weapons to the Kurds, which is going to put some pressure on other minorities in the region to accept Kurdish supremacy under the United States’ umbrella.”

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 15:15| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Neither Kremlin nor Pentagon confirm reports of alleged Russian losses to US strike in Syria
The Kremlin and the Pentagon do not have any information on the alleged deaths of Russians during a US attack in Syria, respective officials have told journalists. Reports of the supposed fatalities have emerged on social media.

The reports attribute the alleged casualties to a recent US airstrike and put the figures between 100 and over 600.

“We urge not to use media reports as a primary source in that case. Let’s understand that there are a lot of our compatriots in many countries worldwide, and it’s quite difficult to have detailed information. All the media reports, though, need to be verified.”

“We recommend in that case to reach out to the Defense Ministry, since here we’re dealing with information published in media. We can only operate data on the servicemen of Russian Armed Forces, who take part in the operation of the Russian Airspace forces supporting the Syrian Army. We don’t have information on any other Russians who might be in Syria,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis also said he has no information that Russian army servicemen were among the casualties following the US airstrike.

“I don't have any reporting -- that some Russians -- non-Russian federation soldiers, but Russian contractors were among the casualties. I can't give you anything on that. We have not received that word at Central Command or at the Pentagon,” he told a media briefing on Tuesday.

Mattis called the situation “perplexing,” noting that the reported attack on the SDF base, which allegedly brought about the deadly American retaliation, “makes no sense, it does not appear to be anything coordinated by the Russians.”

Earlier on Monday, one of the Russian presidential candidates, Grigory Yavlinsky, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide a “report” on “numerous” Russian nationals that were allegedly killed in Syria. The veteran Russian politician, who has been unsuccessfully running for president several times since the 1990s, did not provide any source for the claims, apart from media and social media reports.

“Over the past few days, all the world media and multiple social media sources are reporting on numerous Russian citizens killed while fighting in Syria,” Yavlinsky said in a statement, urging Russian leadership to explain the alleged casualties, and even to end the Syrian campaign altogether.

The Kremlin spokesman said he doubts Yavlinsky's statement is based on "any more reliable sources" than unconfirmed media reports.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 15:10| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

トルコは本気で米国から離れるのか オットーマンスラップを浴びせるのか


Erdogan threatens US with 'Ottoman slap,' says all NATO countries created equal
Washington could soon receive the "Ottoman slap," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned, while also stating that all members of NATO are equal with the US.

While speaking to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party in Ankara on Tuesday, Erdogan referenced a recent remark by Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk, the top US commander in the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), who said that Turkey would face a sharp response if it struck Manbij, Syria.

“Those who say they will give a sharp response if hit, have clearly never got the Ottoman slap in their lives,” Erdogan said, referring to a half-legendary Turkish martial move that involves a potent open-palm hit, resulting in a one-hit knockout or even skull fractures and death.

Erdogan also addressed the NATO alliance, of which both Turkey and the US are members. "What kind of NATO membership is this? What kind of NATO alliance is this?" he asked. "As president of Turkey, [I say] NATO is not equal to the US, all countries [in the alliance] are equals to the US."

His remarks come at a time of increasingly strained relations between the US and Turkey. On Monday, Ankara sought clarity from the US while threatening to break ties. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogli told journalists that his country sought "concrete steps" from Washington, adding that US actions are the reason for "missing trust" between the two NATO allies.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that Turkey had briefed the alliance about its operations in Syria's Afrin last week. He went on to express hope that such briefings would continue.

"Turkey has briefed NATO on the operation Olive Branch, they did so last week, and I have been in regular contact with the Turkish leadership, including with president Erdogan regarding the situation in Syria and the operation Olive Branch. I expect Turkey to continue to brief allies," Stoltenberg said.

The NATO secretary-general also acknowledged Turkey's "legitimate security concerns," and its right to address those concerns. "But they should do that in a proportionate and measured way," he said.

Turkey’s officials, however, do not seem to be satisfied with the ambiguous statements from their NATO allies anymore. On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has harshly responded to a similar statement on understanding Ankara’s “legitimate security concerns” produced by the US Defence Secretary James Mattis.

“Our demands from the US are clear and have already been conveyed. We no longer want to hear about promises; we want to hear about concrete steps. Trust needs to be rebuilt so we can start to talk about some issues,” Cavusoglu said on Monday.

US Dispatches More Military Aid to Kurds in Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- Washington has sent another military convoy to the Kurdish forces in Northeastern Syria after the US Department of Defense allocated a hefty amount of budget for training and equipping Kurdish militias, a militant-affiliated website reported on Tuesday.

The Arabic-language Enab Baladi reported that the US convoy was dispatched to the Kurdish-held regions in Syria's Hasaka via Simalka border-crossing at border with Iraq.

Enab Baladi reported that the convoy, containing fifty trucks, has arrived in Rojava in Northern Syria.

A Commander of the People's Protection Units (YPG) said last week that the US was to provide support for his forces in the town of Manbij in Northern Aleppo despite Ankara's warning to Washington about the Turkish army's imminent operation in the Kurdish-held town.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat daily quoted Siban Hamou as saying that Washington informed the YPG forces that it would not allow the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants to enter Manbij.

He further said that the Turkish army had supposed at the beginning of its military operation in Northern Syria that it would materialize its military objectives in a few days but now after over two weeks the Ankara forces did not gain any of their desired results.

Hamou went on to say that the Kurds destroyed over 10 tanks of the Turkish army and a larger number of tanks that were operating under the Ankara-backed militants, adding that Damascus provided the Kurds with medical, rescue and humanitarian aids.

Turkish FM: Ties with US at 'Very Critical Point’
TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned on Monday, strained by American support for a terrorist group in Syria, Turkish relations with the US are close to breaking.

“Ties with the US are at very critical point. We will either fix these relations or they will break completely,” Cavusoglu told reporters on the sidelines of a Turkish-African meeting in Istanbul, Anadolu Agency reported.

“We want concrete steps [from US]. The missing trust needs to be restored. The reason for that missing trust is the US," he said.

Criticizing US ties with the YPG/PKK terror group in Syria, he added that “The US is not touching Daesh members in Syria as an excuse to continue working with YPG/PKK terrorist group.”

The US has long supported the PYD/PKK as a “reliable ally” in its fight against Daesh, over the strong objections of Ankara, which has documented that it is the Syrian branch of the terrorist PKK.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by the US, EU, and Turkey.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also added that the "utmost care" is being used to avoid harming civilians.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 14:51| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



※ 共同2018/2/10 16:53

Kim Jong-un hails Seoul as gracious host despite US efforts to sabotage Olympic reconciliation
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has thanked Seoul for being a gracious Winter Olympics host, describing the games as a positive step towards bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula.
Kim noted the “warm climate of reconciliation” facilitated by the winter games, and “expressed thanks” for the “sincere” and “very impressive” efforts made by Seoul to welcome the North Korean delegation during their three-day visit to PyeongChang.

“It is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will of the North and the South with the Winter Olympics as a momentum,” Kim said while meeting with members of the delegation upon their return to Pyongyang on Monday, according to North Korean state media. After receiving the delegation Kim issued “important instructions” aimed at cultivating “the improvement of North-South relations.”

Yonhap2018/02/13 08:41
(LEAD) Kim Jong-un vows to continue reconciliation between Koreas
SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged efforts to continue the reconciliatory mood with South Korea as he welcomed back a high-ranking North Korean delegation from their trip to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea, the North's state-run news agency said Tuesday.

"It is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will of the North and the South with the Winter Olympics as a momentum," Kim was quoted in English by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying in a meeting with the delegation.

Wrapping up their trip last week, the delegation led by Kim Yong-nam, the chairman of the Presidium of the North Korean assembly, reported details of their South Korean visit to Kim, the KCNA said.

Kim Yo-jong, the leader's powerful sister, relayed her brother's invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit the North during her trip to the South as a member of the delegation.

Seoul won’t rush to renew joint military drills with US as new intra-Korean summit solidifies
South Korean President Moon Jae-in reportedly rejected a call from Japan to quickly resume joint US-Korean military drills. Moon has been invited to visit Pyongyang for what may become the first top-level summit in over a decade.

At a bilateral summit on Friday, Moon called on the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to wait before resuming the drills, Yonhap reported, citing a government official. The drills have been paused for the duration of the Winter Olympics, as part of Seoul’s attempt to mend relations with Pyongyang. North Korea considers the drills a major threat to its national security, saying they may be used to conceal a build-up for an invasion.

According to the report, Abe argued that the time to delay exercises scheduled for spring was not right and that Pyongyang had to change its behavior before receiving concessions.

“I understand what Prime Minister Abe said is not to delay South Korea-U.S. military drills until there is progress in the denuclearization of North Korea. But the issue is about our sovereignty and intervention in our domestic affairs,” Moon told the Japanese leader, according to the unnamed official.“The president said it was not appropriate for the prime minister to directly mention the issue.”

North Korea’s successful development last year of a ballistic missile, which is apparently capable of reaching the US mainland, as well as carrying a small thermonuclear device, triggered a major security crisis on the Korean Peninsula. As US President Donald Trump threatened to use military force to destroy Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities, a new left-wing government in Seoul took several symbolic steps to deflate the tension, including agreeing to have a joint athletic delegation with North Korea at the Olympics.

This week, Moon received an invitation from his northern counterpart, Kim Jong-un to visit Pyongyang for a top-level summit. If accepted, it would be the first diplomatic event of its kind since 2007, when the government of President Roh Moo-hyun in Seoul attempted to mend relations as part of the Sunshine Policy.

Roh’s successor, Lee Myung-bak, came from the other side of the political spectrum and took a hardline stance on intra-Korean relations, as did President Park Geun-hye, who came from the same conservative camp. After Park was impeached, Moon was elected partially on the promise of reviving the Sunshine Policy.

Seoul Won’t Rush to Renew Joint Military Drills with US as New Intra-Korean Summit Solidifies
TEHRAN (FNA)- South Korean President Moon Jae-in reportedly rejected a call from Japan to quickly resume joint US-Korean military drills.

At a bilateral summit on Friday, Moon called on the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to wait before resuming the drills, Yonhap reported, citing a government official.

The drills have been paused for the duration of the Winter Olympics, as part of Seoul’s attempt to mend relations with Pyongyang. North Korea considers the drills a major threat to its national security, saying they may be used to conceal a build-up for an invasion.

According to the report, Abe argued that the time to delay exercises scheduled for spring was not right and that Pyongyang had to change its behavior before receiving concessions.

“I understand what Prime Minister Abe said is not to delay South Korea-US military drills until there is progress in the denuclearization of North Korea. But the issue is about our sovereignty and intervention in our domestic affairs,” Moon told the Japanese leader, according to the unnamed official, adding that “The President said it was not appropriate for the prime minister to directly mention the issue.”

Pence: US Is Finally Ready to Talk to North Korea
TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump’s administration decided that it is ready to talk to North Korea, apparently without preconditions.

“The maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify,” US Vice President Mike Pence revealed to The Washington Post on his return from South Korea, adding “No pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that… represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization. But if you want to talk, we’ll talk,” Daily Caller reported.

Before he arrived in South Korea, Pence stressed that the diplomatic and economic isolation of North Korea must continue after the Olympics, a view inconsistent with that of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who hopes to see the Olympics lead to more dialogue and improved inter-Korean relations.

When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proposed talks without preconditions a few months ago, the White House immediately responded that the US is not ready for such negotiations.

That no longer appears to be the case, as the US seems to be finally embracing the strategy of maximum pressure and engagement first mentioned early last year.

Pence and Moon reportedly worked out their differences in bilateral meetings during his visit. Moon emphasized the need for engagement but assured the Vice President that North Korea will not be given any relief from the maximum pressure campaign until it begins pursuing denuclearization.

It is unclear exactly what steps North Korea must take to relieve the pressure.

“I don’t know. That’s why you have to have talks,” Pence said when asked what Pyongyang needs to do.

Moon told Pence, who was in contact with Trump throughout his trip, that he informed the North Korean officials of the desperate need to engage the US in dialogue.

The US may be open to talks with the North, however, Pyongyang’s willingness to engage Washington in talks is less clear, especially given the demand for denuclearization, that runs contrary to North Korea’s assertion that it should be recognized as a nuclear state.

The new sanctions Pence announced in Japan may also complicate the situation.

In South Korea, Pence and the North Korean delegation avoided one another like the plague. There were no handshakes, no friendly smiles, no interaction whatsoever.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 14:21| Comment(0) | 国際・政治








posted by ZUKUNASHI at 10:34| Comment(0) | 福島原発事故



Russian Sources: Kurds Planning to Escalate Afrin Battle in Turkey
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian media sources confirmed that the Kurdish fighters have received new weapons as they are resisting against the Ankara-backed militants in Afrin region, adding that they intend to likely spread the clashes to Turkey.

The Arabic service of RT news channel quoted the Russian Svobodnaya Pressa news website as reporting that as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to intensify attacks against Afrin in Aleppo province, the situation in Northwestern Syria is exacerbating.

It added that the Kurds will not suffice to resistance against the Turkish army and will launch counter attacks and spread the clashes to the Turkish areas bordering with Syria.

Meantime, Karim Yildrim, a Turkish military analyst, disclosed that the Kurds now hold new weapons enabling them to resist against the Turkish army's most advanced weapons.

The Turkish army had earlier warned the Kurds against using different types of US and European arms.

A Kurdish media outlet reported on Tuesday that the Turkish Army's artillery units pounded for the first time the Central part of the town of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo, inflicting an unspecified number of casualties on the civilian population.

Hawar news reported that the artillery units of the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants opened heavy fire at populated neighborhoods in the Central part of Afrin.

It went on to say that the artillery units also targeted Afrin Hospital inside the town, killing and wounding a number of civilians, including several children. Yet, the news outlet said the exact number of casualties is not clear yet.

Well-informed sources reported on Monday that a new convoy of the Turkish Army vehicles and equipment and hundreds of Ankara-backed militants were forwarded to Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo to join Operation Olive Brach against Kurds.

The sources reported that a military convoy of the Turkish army left Kafr Lusin border-crossing for Northern Idlib heading towards the town of Salwah at the opposite side of the towns of Afrin and Dar al-Izzah in Western Aleppo.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 03:05| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Dutch FM resigns after admitting lie about meeting Putin
Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra has resigned, a day after he admitted lying about overhearing Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. In 2016 Zijlstra alleged Putin had in 2006 expressed ambitions to create a “Greater Russia.”

The official admitted that his credibility had been damaged by the ongoing scandal to such an extent that his position had become untenable.

Halbe Zijlstra announced his resignation in an emotional speech to the House of Representatives. Zijlstra described the “Greater Russia” affair as the “biggest mistake” in his political career, adding that the country deserves a Foreign Minister who is beyond reproach.



Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra has admitted that he lied when he claimed to have heard President Vladimir Putin describing an ambition to unify Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states and Kazakhstan as a single country.

Zijlstra claimed at a party conference in 2016 that he had overheard Putin outlining the grand plan for a “Greater Russia” in 2006 during a gathering of businessmen. He was working for the oil company, Shell, at the time.

In the original retelling of the story, Zijlstra said he had been in a back room of a dacha (country house) when he heard Putin define “Great Russia” as “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states,” adding that “Kazakhstan was nice to have.”

The story was questioned by the newspaper Volkskrant, however, which discovered from Zijlstra’s colleagues that he had not been at the 2006 business meeting in Russia, despite being part of the Shell delegation. When confronted about this, the minister acknowledged lying and claimed he was simply trying to protect a source.

“I made the decision that this is an important geopolitical story with serious implications,” he said. “I put myself in the story to make sure that the revelations weren’t about the person who was actually there. Because that could have had implications for him or his company.”

Zijlstra insisted the hearsay of which he spoke was true, but would not name the person from whom he heard it. The newspaper itself says the source was Jeroen van der Veer, who was Shell CEO at the time, citing two informed sources.

The revelation comes at an awkward moment for the foreign minister. Zijlstra, who assumed his current office in October 2017, is due to visit Moscow this week to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Geert Wilders’ opposition right-wing Party for Freedom has called for a parliamentary debate about Zijlstra’s integrity before he leaves. Zijlstra told Volkskrant that he informed Prime Minister Mark Rutte about his conduct several weeks ago.

“Greater Russia” is an amorphous term usually used to describe the historic core of the Russian state, roughly corresponding to the territory of medieval Russia in the 16th century – the beginning of the reign of Ivan the Terrible, who was the first of Russia’s great expansionist rulers. The word “greater” is meant as a description of spiritual significance rather than physical size. The same term was applied to the core territories of some other countries, like Greater Armenia, Greater Walachia or Greater Poland.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 02:06| Comment(2) | 国際・政治

シリア外務副大臣 イスラエルにその攻撃の都度驚きを与えると威嚇

Israel threatens to ‘bite hard’ after downing of its fighter jet in Syria
Tel Aviv has vowed to defend its interests without any limitations in the wake of heightened tensions with Tehran over the recent strikes in Syria. At the same time Damascus warns Israel of “more surprises” in case of new attacks.

“We will respond to every provocation, we will continue to protect our vital security interests,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday as cited by local media.“To paraphrase the known saying, ‘This is not the time to bark, it’s time to bite’ − and we’ll bite hard,” the minister warned, adding that he hopes it will not come to that.

It was the first time Liberman had spoken about the February 10 events. Tensions between Israel and Iran have rapidly flared up since Saturday, when an alleged Iranian drone infiltration into the Israeli airspace triggered the Israeli Air Force’s retaliatory strikes in Syria, the biggest in years. Amid the cross-border escalation, Israel lost an F-16 fighter jet to enemy fire for the first time in 35 years.

The defense minister stressed that “there are no limitations” when it comes to responding to provocations against Israel. Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to “strike back” and hinted that Tel Aviv does not intend to change its stance following “a serious blow to the armies of Iran and Syria.”

While Tel Aviv maintains that Iran eyes attacking the country using Syrian bases, Tehran said no “Israeli mistake” will be left without response and the recent incident challenged Israeli air superiority, thus shifting the balance of power in the region.

“The claim [made] by the Zionists [that they had carried out sorties] to damage Iranian bases in Syria is a lie,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told Al Quds Al Arabi on Sunday.

Meanwhile the Syrian government has warned Israel against carrying out attacks, declaring its aim to surprise “the aggressor.”

“Have full confidence the aggressor will be greatly surprised because it thought this war − this war of attrition Syria has been exposed to for years − had made it incapable of confronting attacks,” assistant foreign minister Ayman Sussan said during a Damascus news conference on Tuesday as cited by Reuters.

“God willing they will see more surprises whenever they try to attack Syria,” Sussan added.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:43| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Tip-off received on Al-Nusra, White Helmets plotting chemical weapons provocation in Syria – Moscow
Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria says it's been warned that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists brought in chlorine containers to a local village, where they aimed to work with the White Helmets to stage “a provocation.”

Late on Monday, the center received a phone call from a resident of the village of Serakab in Idlib province about the planned incident.
According to the source, on the afternoon of February 12, rebels from the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) terrorist organization brought three cars packed with more than 20 cylinders of chlorine along with personal protective equipment to Serakab.

Additionally, according to the caller, representatives of the local branch of the White Helmets, wearing individual means of protection, conducted rehearsals of "giving first aid" to "local residents" who were supposedly suffering from poisoning.

The information received from the Idlib resident raised a red flag for members of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria.

According to the center, this indicates that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists along with the White Helmets are plotting another “provocation” with the use of poisonous substances in Idlib province, aimed at accusing the Syrian authorities of using chemical weapons against local residents.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in October that the notorious Idlib chemical incident in April, which was used by the US as a pretext to strike Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, might have been staged.

Presenting photographic evidence of a crater from the scene of the chemical incident, the head of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov, told a UN briefing that the bomb which dispersed the deadly chemical agent was most likely detonated on the ground and not on impact from a Syrian airstrike. “Most likely, an improvised explosive device was located on the surface,” Ulyanov said.

The Khan Shaykhun chemical incident occurred on April 4, 2017, in the town of the same name in the Idlib Governorate, in an area that was under the control of Al-Nusra Front terrorists. The sarin gas attack, which allegedly claimed the lives of between 74 to 100 civilians, reportedly took place when the town was struck by the Syrian Air Force. Washington rushed to blame Damascus, despite the denial of the Syrian government, which destroyed all of its sarin stockpiles under the deal brokered between Russia and the US in 2013. Even though there was a lack of any hard evidence, shortly after the incident US President Donald Trump authorized the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airbase, from where US intelligence claimed the chemical attack was launched.

In late October, the US Department of State finally admitted that militants linked to Al-Nusra Front are indeed carrying out terrorist attacks using chemical weapons in Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry noted that a precedent had been set by Washington’s acknowledgement of the situation.

“This is the first official recognition by the State Department not only of the presence, but the very use of chemical weapons by Al-Nusra terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks, which we repeatedly warned about,” General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the ministry, said.

The White Helmets have been long hailed by the Western media as “peace-bearing heroes” who save human lives. However, the group has been dogged by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups.

“The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS], but also openly express positive attitudes towards them, providing them with information and even financial assistance,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in April 2017.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:00| Comment(0) | 国際・政治