Russia is again warning of a new potential chemical provocation in Syria at the end of a week in which US National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened Damascus with a "very strong" military response should allegations emerge amidst the Syrian Army campaign to liberate Idlib.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Saturday per state-run TASS:
A provocation with an alleged chemical weapons use in Syria, which terrorists are plotting to stage with the assistance of UK special services, will serve as a pretext for missile strikes by the West and the United States against the Arab country, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
According to the Russian general, the provocation will be staged by terrorists of the Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham terrorist organization (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, outlawed in Russia [and the US]) and for this purpose eight containers with chlorine have been brought to the Idlib province.
The mention of UK special forces and eight containers of chlorine suggest that Russia is claiming to possess specified intelligence.Specified intelligence -- ya think so, eh?
See my post on the Russian report. But from the time stamp, Zero Hedge (and Sic Semper Tyrannis and AMN) beat me to the punch, which makes me happy -- and I'm even happier Drudge picked up on the story.
Now let's see if any other web sites are on the ball. Give me a moment [taptaptap tap. tap.] Yes! Several have posted the story including, oh joy, Germany's big newspaper, Deutsche Welle! And yes DW is published in English.
But hold on, what's this? How did I miss this when it was first published? From the second page of Google's list of sites carrying reports today on a "chemical provocation" in Idlib:
April 13, 2018Reuters
(MOSCOW) Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Friday that Britain was involved in faking a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma.
In a televised briefing on Friday, Russia’s Ministry of Defence repeated the government’s stance that the attack was faked, adding that it had proof that Britain participated in its staging.
“We have... evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organizing this provocation,” defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
[...]The British vehemently denied the accusation -- see the rest of the report -- but the Reuters report indicates the Russians have been tracking British involvement in chemical provocations in Syria since at least as early as the Douma attack.
Well now the Russians have gotten a little more specific in their accusations, although the "Olive" military firm they mentioned today could have as many if not more connections with the U.S. government as the British one. See the update to my 3 PM report.
What next? If the chemical provocation story grows enough legs Fox Cable News television could pick up on it. Given the gossip that President Trump gets much of his 'intel' from watching Fox, this would mean America's president could learn of the possibility that the British are fooling around with chlorine, or at least teaching a Syrian terror group to use the stuff for nefarious purposes.
That's the hopeful news to come from Drudge's attention to the story. The unhopeful news is that Mr Trump grandly ignored all evidence that earlier allegations of Syrian military use of chemical weapons were false. So if he wants to use a chemical attack in Idlib as an excuse to bomb the country's military he'll do it, no matter how many indications the attack was staged to frame the military. He won't even wait for an investigation of any such attack.
All right; here's the list from page one of Google's internet sites now reporting on the story; I used the keywords "chemical provocation British Idlib" to pull up the reports; more creative keywording could well pull up more: