A US senator has indicated that British intelligence services are planning to stage a chemical attack on civilians in Syria to implicate the government and its allies as they seek to liberate the last remaining regions from the grip of militants.
Virginia state Senator Richard Black said last week that Britain’s MI6 had been working on a chemical attack in Syria for the past few weeks, adding that the main aim of the plan was to blame the Syrian government and military for targeting defenseless civilians.
“Around four weeks ago, we knew that British intelligence was working towards a chemical attack in order to blame the Syrian government, to hold Syria responsible,” said Black in an interview with Al Mayadeen, a news channel based in Beirut.
The Republican senator, who was in Syria recently to meet with senior government officials, reiterated his claims about fake chemical attacks in Syria in an interview with The Washington Post, saying Britain had no intention of carrying out such attacks itself, but it was to direct militants, including members of the so-called White Helmets, a group with alleged humanitarian mission, to launch the attack.
“The plan is to use the White Helmets who have always been involved in these notorious deceptions, to portray an attack.” he said, adding, “From what I can tell, they have been planning a fake attack, not a genuine one, but one where they actually move people out of a town and they have trained people to portray victims of a gas attack.”
Black’s remarks echoed similar concerns raised by the Syrian government and its allies about the possibility of a chemical attack in the northwestern province of Idlib, where the military is planning a large-scale offensive against militants.
Home to some 1.5 million militants and their families, Idlib is the last remaining bastion of anti-government forces in Syria.
Russia, a main ally of the Syrian government in its fight against terror, has repeatedly warned that militants and their supporters in the West could use a fake chemical attack as a pretext to slow the government offensive into Idlib.