Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia on Monday told the Security Council that terrorists and the White Helmets group continued preparations for chemical weapon provocations in Syria.
“We continue to receive alarming information that terrorist groups in Syria in conjunction with the White Helmets are preparing for large-scale provocations with the use of toxic substances,” he said.
The Russian center for the reconciliation of opposing sides had been alerted to the plot by local residents who claimed White Helmets “were seeking individuals who would be willing to participate in the staged incidents in exchange for receiving food,” he said.
This plot, Nebenzia added, is aimed to “shield violators of Syrian sovereignty, to provide a pretext for new aggressive actions against Damascus, to taint Russia’s reputation and to claim that Russia is colluding with those perpetrating heinous crimes.”
Both Damascus and Moscow repeatedly accused militants and the non-governmental organization the White Helmets of staging several provocations involving chemical weapons attacks to influence public opinion and justify foreign intervention in Syria. Back in April, a staged chemical attack prompted the US-led coalition to strike Syria with well over 100 missiles.