09:26 GMT25 October 2020
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    Residents of Idlib province have warned the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation that the White Helmets could be preparing a provocation involving the use of chemical weapons. Sputnik spoke about this issue with Dr. Kamel Wazne, the founder of the Center of American Strategic Studies in Beirut.

    Sputnik: Russia, as well as Syria, has accused the White Helmets of close links to terrorist groups. Why is the West insisting on this particular NGO to be operational in Syria?

    Dr. Kamel Wazne: Well because this is an agent that has, supposedly, a noble purpose but it does dirty work and the United States can utilize their services. They try to categorize them as heroes in the West, but in the end as evidence came from the Syrian government, with this substantial evidence they were involved in something that is illegal, fabricating evidence. 

    So as long as it serves the interests of the US, as long as it serves the purpose of their war in the region, I think they can use them when they feel at threat and they will abandon them when it doesn’t work on their behalf. 

    READ MORE: Putin: Nearly 30 Aircraft, 1,140 Troops Withdrawn from Syria Over Past Days

    We have to remember all these terrorist organizations in Syria were funded and trained by some military elements of the US, by the military intelligence elements of the Persian Gulf countries.

    So it’s not something new, but sometimes they categorize it in a different way, but in the end the weapons, the fighters that came from all over the world, it definitely has the hand of the United States in the whole issue.

    Sputnik: Both the Russian and the US presidents have agreed to a meeting in Helsinki in the 2nd week of July. With that in mind, how likely are the presidents to agree on a US withdrawal from Syria, in your opinion?

    Dr. Kamel Wazne: I think it is too early to see what will be the outcome of their meeting. There could be some hope for that meeting as there are going to be a lot of issues that will be discussed between the US and Russia. 

    READ MORE: Trump Eyes Deal With Putin on US Pullout from Syria – Reports

    There was supposed to be a meeting between them after Trump’s election but it did not happen so I think those couple of hours, I don’t know how much they can achieve, but I think the US, and its allies in the region, is not going to consider withdrawing from Syria at this point. 

    I think there is more politics and the way they can go out eventually, because the Syrian people they want their country to be liberated and they want any force that is in Syria to be coordinating with the government in Syria and at the pleasure of the Syrian government. 

    But it is too early to call for a quick withdrawal from the areas that America has influence and has a presence in.

    The views and opinions expressed by Dr. Kamel Wazne are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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