08:44 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Chemical Weapons

    Belgian Authorities Deny Russian Claims of False-Flag Operation Plot in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / Phillip Guelland
    Middle East
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The Belgian authorities on Saturday denied claims by the Russian military they were plotting a false-flag operation in Syria to accuse Moscow of using chemical weapons against civilians.

    "Belgium respects the convention on chemical weapons and does not engage in this type of warfare," the Belgian Defense Ministry said in a comment cited by the local VRT broadcaster.

    A spokesperson for the Belgian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that allegations of the country’s role in preparations for a staged attack in northwestern Syria were false.

    The comment refers to the statement made by Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Syrian Reconciliation, on Friday that Belgian and French intelligence officers had arrived in the Idlib province to take part in a false-flag operation by Syrian militants. He said Belgians had been filming Russian airstrikes to use the footage as proof of Russia’s alleged atrocities.

    READ MORE: Russian MoD: French, Belgian Intel Officers Plan Chemical ‘Provocation' in Idlib

    Previously Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly pointed out that the White Helmets, as well as militants operating in the area, have staged provocations in Syria involving the use of chemical weapons, aimed to shift the blame on the Syrian government and provide Western countries with justification for intervention in the Arab Republic.

    READ MORE: Militants Preparing Staged Chemical Attacks in Idlib, Syria — Russia's UN Envoy

    Thus, in April of 2018 unverified reports about the alleged use in Eastern Ghouta shared by the opposition media, citing militants, have resulted in punitive strikes on a number of targets in Syria, including the facilities in Barzeh and Jamraya by the US-led coalition. The latter has blamed Damascus for perpetrating a chemical attack in the city Douma, located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta on the basis of these unconfirmed reports. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, over 100 cruise missiles were launched by the United States, Britain and France, most of which were intercepted by Syria's air defence systems.

    Damascus vehemently denied the allegations, denouncing the attack as a staged provocation to justify potential foreign intervention.

    READ MORE: Damascus Accuses OPCW of Distorting Facts in Report on Douma Chemical Attack

    plot, chemical weapons, Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Syrian Reconciliation, France, Belgium, Syria
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