Official: Syria Militants Organize Chem Arms Provocations to Push West to Attack

© REUTERS / Bassam KhabiehDamaged buildings are seen in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria February 25, 2018
Damaged buildings are seen in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria February 25, 2018 - Sputnik International
BEIRUT (Sputnik) - The armed groups acting in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, organize provocations with the use of chemical weapons in order to prepare the ground for a military intervention by Western nations, an adviser to the Syrian information minister told Sputnik on Tuesday.

"They [armed groups] pursue several goals. [Firstly they want] to stop the actions of the Syrian army aimed at liberating the entirely of Ghouta… it is impossible to leave this area under the control of terrorists, who use it to shell Damascus, it is necessary to destroy terrorists. Secondly, [the provocation using chemical arms] would be a reason for a strike targeting Damascus," Ali Ahmad said.

The official added that western countries are preparing public opinion for military action against Damascus by accusing the Syrian army of using such weapons.

On Friday, Maj. Gen. Yury Yevtushenko, the spokesman for the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, said that Syrian militants were preparing attacks involving chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta that will then be used by the West as a pretext for accusing Damascus of using said weapons against civilians. Over the last month, media repeatedly reported about alleged chemical attacks in the suburb.

READ MORE: Militants in E Ghouta Shell Damascus: 15 Reportedly Injured, Three Killed

According to the Syrian minister's adviser, Damascus and Moscow have already warned the international community about the militants' preparations in Eastern Ghouta.

Jabhat al-Nusra fighter (File) - Sputnik International
Russian Military: Al Nusra Terrorists Shelled Convoy in Eastern Ghouta
The situation in the besieged suburb has been tense over the past weeks, as local militants continue to shell Damascus and Syrian pro-government forces respond in kind.

Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on the reports about Damascus' possible use of chemical weapons, said that the provocations continued. The official added that Russia had started monitoring for the reported use of chemical weapons, even though Moscow always faced unwillingness from its foreign partners to conduct such investigations. According to the Kremlin spokesman, only an independent and impartial group could make definite statements about the potential use of chemical weapons.

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