The US information campaign on Syria is a warning sign that an American-led intervention may be in the works, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
“The campaign, which was started by the US and is being backed by London and Paris, on the alleged chemical attack that is claimed to be prepared by Damascus, is not original, it’s a textbook script, which has already been used in several countries in the region,” Zakharova said.
In 2013, for example, “a provocation with the alleged use of chemical weapons became an excuse for a [potential] direct Western intervention in Syria. The situation was salvaged only by Russia’s decisive stance,” the official said.
Following the incident in April of this year, when the US leadership claimed a chemical weapons attack had been carried out by Syrian government forces in Khan Shaykhun, Washington is not doing anything that hasn’t been seen before, Zakharova added.
“The current information attack is very likely a warning sign of an intervention. The story will be the same: an incident happens on the territory controlled by the terrorists, civilian casualties follow. The so-called opposition – de facto the same jihadists, not very different from IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL] and Al-Qaeda, but who are still getting help from the US and allies – announce yet another ‘crime by the regime,’” Zakharova said.
The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman even pointed out potential locations for such incidents: Sarrakab and Ar-Riha, where Moscow “believes that such a staged [chemical weapons] attack is being prepared.”
The US’ claims on an alleged chemical attack being prepared by Damascus aren’t only aimed against the Syrian authorities, but also against Russia, the Zakharova said.
“The situation seems to be a massive provocation, both military and information-wise, a provocation which targets not only the Syrian leadership, but also Russia,” the spokeswoman said.
“These accusations and threats sound cynical amid the background of the blatantly illegal activities of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition fighting against the sovereign state of Syria,” the official added, referring to the US attack in April on the Shayrat airbase, as well as “mass civilian casualties in the coalition strikes in Raqqa and elsewhere.”
“Only during Ramadan, AFP reported the death toll of 500 civilians, who weren’t connected to the terrorists in any way,” Zakharova said.