In 2013 Jaish al-Islam militants were to capture Damascus and overthrow the legitimate Syrian government in accordance with their Western sponsors' plan, Husam Taleb, a former follower of Zahran Alloush, the founder of the Jaish al-Islam group, revealed in an interview with Sputnik Arabic.
"A chemical attack was really planned and women and children were to fall victim to it," Taleb, a Syrian specialist on extremist groups, recalled. "In this way the countries that support and fund militants — the US, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — sought to exert pressure on the Syrian government. In 2013 [then US President] Barack Obama said that the Americans would use force against the Syrian government if it launched a chemical attack against its people. No one [in Syria] had ever talked about these kind of weapons before. Since that time, a 'series' with the use of poisonous substances has begun."
Taleb underscored that eventually in 2013 Jaish al-Islam used chemical arms against Jaish al-Hurr and took control of the entire Ghouta area.
"It was planned that Jaish al-Islam would seize power and take up the reins of the country after America's strike against the Syrian capital," Sputnik's interlocutor underscored.
"I am aware of everything that is happening there today, because I maintain relations with my relatives and friends," he said. "I know for certain that the situation there bears no resemblance to what the White Helmets say. I can say with confidence that the White Helmets are a terrorist organization in the full sense of the term. They often do 'reports' about saving victims from the rubble. But they conduct these operations to take 'pretty pictures' while the quality of the rescue mission suffers. Is that the kind of thing rescuers and humanitarian organization employees do?"
Taleb said that while the White Helmets show the bodies of murdered children claiming they've died as the result of chemical attacks, it is in fact the White Helmets themselves killing these unfortunate victims.
"Everything is being done to impose pressure on the Syrian government," the specialist said. "[Previously], Britain and the US created similar pseudo-humanitarian organizations in Iraq."
To illustrate his point Taleb referred to the situation in Hamuriyah, a town in Eastern Ghouta.
"There were reports that a couple of weeks ago chemical weapons were used against residents of Hamuriyah, claiming the lives of 26 children. Last week the inhabitants of this city raised the Syrian flag, asked the terrorists to go and let the government army in. Would they do that if the Syrian Arab Army really attacked them with this terrible weapon?" the Syrian specialist asked rhetorically.
As for extremists' sources of funding, Taleb said that money usually comes from the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries.
Zahran Alloush is a Syrian Sunni Salafist preacher who hails from the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. He founded and led the Jaish al-Islam opposition armed group. He was killed along with his deputy on December 25, 2015 as a result of a missile strike. After Zahran's death, his brother, Muhammad Alloush, became one of the leaders of the Syrian opposition. He represented the Syrian opposition during the Astana talks in January 2017.
In his youth, Taleb, who was raised in Douma, fell under the influence of Zahran Alloush. He later abandoned the Salafists misconceptions and is now engaged in exposing false extremist ideas.
The views and opinions expressed by Husam Taleb are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.