Chemical Attacks in Syria Lost Int'l Public Opinion Credibility - Journalist

© REUTERS / Ammar AbdullahA civil defence member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, April 4, 2017
A civil defence member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, April 4, 2017 - Sputnik International
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said that British special services assisted terrorists of the al-Nusra Front group by smuggling chemical weapons to several areas of Idlib - currently under control of the so-called White Helmet volunteer organization. Sputnik spoke to journalist Francesca Totolo for more.

Sputnik: What’s your take on the repeated warnings by the Syrian and Russian officials on possible provocations in Syria?

Francesca Totolo: The repeated warnings by the Syrian and Russian officials on possible provocations in Syria are well founded. As happened in Khan Shekhun in April 2017 and in Douma in April 2018, when the Syrian government army is close to the liberation of an area occupied by al-Nusra and ISIS terrorists, the White Helmets set off an attack with chemical weapons, accusing President Assad to push a military intervention of the West. In fact, we remember the American bombardments of April 7, 2017, and that of the US, France and UK alliance of April 14, 2018. The world is still waiting for evidence of the chemical weapons attack that President Macron claimed to possess.

This frame grab from video released on Thursday, March. 1, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a member of the Syrian Civil Defense group running as he holds a child who was wounded during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, Syria - Sputnik International
Syria’s FM Walid Muallem: UK Helped White Helmets Smuggle Chlorine to Idlib
Sputnik: What is your opinion about the timing of these warnings? Why is this information being released prior to the liberation of Idlib, the last terrorist stronghold?

Francesca Totolo: The province of Idlib is fundamental to the terrorists because it is the last stronghold not yet liberated by the Syrian government army. His release would mark the end of al-Nusra's and ISIS's occupation. The timing is the same as the previous false chemical weapons attacks by Khan Shekhun and Douma, the latter also denied by the OPCW in its preliminary report. I assume, however, that the next attack will be staged by the White Helmets in a better way, probably using real chemical weapons.

Sputnik: If these claims are true, why, in your view, would UK support provocations against the Syrian government?

Francesca Totolo: Fortunately, the chemical weapons attacks in Syria have lost credibility with international public opinion. However, the UK Government will continue to support its false flag. It should be remembered that the White Helmets are a British non-governmental organization founded by James Le Mesurier, former officer of the British army and intelligence service, and former mercenary of the contractor company ACADEMI (Blackwater). White Helmets received massive funding from various Western governments, including Great Britain, of course.

Sputnik: After the US withdrew its support for the White Helmets, who is financing the organization now?

Francesca Totolo: It can be assumed that White Helmets supporters are always the same: Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Can we be absolutely sure of US non-funding after the june statement by Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, Heather Nauert, which read "These heroic first responders have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and they continue to be deliberately taken targeted by the Syrian regime and Russian air raids"?

CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington. - Sputnik International
Washington Shares Russian Concern Over Terrorists' Presence in Syria's Idlib
Sputnik: It was earlier reported that over 800 White Helmets and their family members were transported from Syria to other countries by Israel. How many still remain there?

Francesca Totolo: Estimates of the White Helmets number speak of 3,000 volunteers who have been working in Syria since 2014. Many volunteers, about 800 including their families, have fled Syria thanks to the intervention of Israel and the reception of some Western states such as Great Braetagna, Germany and Canada. Others surely moved from Douma to Idlib thanks to the evacuation corridor agreed with the government of Damascus.
It can be assumed that at least 2,000 White Helmets are present in the province of Idlib, the last territory occupied by jihadist terrorists, where almost 3 million Syrians are still hostages. History teaches that the bloodiest part of a war has always been the last, when the losers have nothing left to lose.

The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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