Sputnik: Now what can you say about the media coverage of the alleged chemical attack and the reactions so far?
Sarah Abed: As far as the media coverage, the information that we are getting it's coming from the White Helmets who are Al-Qaeda terrorists and they should never be used as a reliable source. It’s actually very dangerous and reckless for them to be used as a source of information, they've staged events in the past and many people are saying that the US is now using this as a pretext for further military intervention.
The US is basically acting as the judge, jury and executioner without waiting for the OPCW to independently verify what actually took place in Douma.
Sputnik: Do you expect that the Western countries, Western allies will take Russia and Syria up on the offer to give them access to the site of the attack within 24 hours?
Sarah Abed: Ideally, we would love for them to do that, but I believe that because they know that the terrorists are the ones that carried this out and that the Syrian government has absolutely no reason for them to do such a thing, I don’t think that they're going to take them up on that offer, but if they do and the information does come out, just like the Russian representative had mentioned yesterday at the UN Security Council meeting that when they surveyed Douma they did not find any traces of chemical weapons, and when they looked at the patients and the local hospitals there they didn’t find any of them with chemical poisoning symptoms.
So right now it’s looking like this whole thing was staged, and like the Syrian representative had said, that it was a Hollywood presentation, basically. It would be nice for the US, the UK, Germany and France to actually want to take them up on that offer, but I’m not exactly sure if they’re going to do that considering that the results might not be in their favor.
Sputnik: You’re making some very strong allegations here, what would you say to people who ask questions about what you’ve said, how could you justify what you’re saying right now?
Sarah Abed: It's just based on what we’ve seen in the past, when this happened last year, for instance, right after the US had said that they are no longer interested in regime change, we saw that there was an incident that occurred in Khan Sheikhoun and immediately after, the US President Donald Trump had authorized 59 Tomahawk missiles to hit the military airport outside of Homs which the Syrian army had been using to target Daesh.
So we've seen in the past that the same scenario has happened and it's brought about the results that these terrorist fractions want to see, they want the US to be involved, they want military intervention, they want President Assad to be unseated, so these are all the things that benefit them, and that's the most important thing for anyone who's trying to make sense of all of this. They have to think of who benefits from these chemical weapon attacks.
If the Syrian army has the whole area encircled and they are in negotiations, they're in talks to have the hostages released, they had 200 hostages out of the 4,000 that they said that they had in return for releasing the 40,000 terrorists and their families to Idlib, so they were having these negotiations, it make absolutely no sense for the Syrian army to create this scenario and have the whole world be against the Syrian government.
Sputnik: So what you’re saying is that you don’t see a motive from the standpoint of the Syrian government and you feel that the motive that is evident is that of the terrorists who are losing the battle and want to prolong it, is that what you’re saying?
Sarah Abed: Yes, the Syrian Army, the Syrian government absolutely does not have a motive in this, and the terrorist fractions that are there, they’re the ones who have access to these chemical weapons and they wanted to use this to derail a local truce that was going on.
If we just look at what’s happened in the past, the Syrian Army, when these sort of things happen, they’re accused of carrying out these chemical weapons attacks, but if you look at the timing that these events happen it’s always around the time when the Syrian Army is making a lot of progress, for instance, President Trump just said that he wanted to pull out the troops from Syria very soon, a couple of days ago and then this happened.
The timing is very crucial here for us to understand who’s behind this and what the motive would be, and who benefits, the Syrian Army and the Syrian government does not benefit from these things, they haven’t carried out chemical weapons attacks, they've been accused of them throughout the war but there's not been solid evidence to prove that they’re responsible for these chemical weapon attacks.
Sputnik: If we have Donald Trump saying that he’s going to leave or withdraw, when he actually said that he was going to withdraw do you think that this was the precise trigger of this event?
Sarah Abed: In this particular scenario it does seem that was a big reason for them to do this, for them to carry this out, they do not want the US troops to leave and they don’t want them to close down their military bases, they want this war to continue, and they want President Assad and the Syrian Army and the Syria government to look really awful in front of the global public's eyes and that’s basically what they’re trying to do here, by blaming them for these attacks.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Sarah Abed and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.