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Militants prepare new chemical provocation in Syria — Reconciliation center

November 30, 2018, 1:25 UTC+3

The expected provocation will target Mahardah, a city in the Hama governorate with the predominantly Christian population, and the Abu al-Duhur humanitarian corridor

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MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Militants are preparing a new provocation with the use of toxic substances in Syria, the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, Lt. Gen. Sergei Solomatin, said on Thursday.

"According to the information obtained by the Russian reconciliation center from sources in the Idlib de-escalation zone, terrorists from the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham group [Jabhat Al-Nusra, outlawed in Russia] plan to carry out another provocation with the use of toxic substances. Militants have delivered 60 containers with an unidentified highly toxic chemical to the demilitarized zone from the towns of Shugur, Kafr Zita and Sarakeb. They are being accompanied by Arab-speaking chemical experts from a European country," he said.

According to the official, the expected provocation will target Mahardah, a city in the Hama governorate with the predominantly Christian population, and the humanitarian corridor near the town of Abu al-Duhur in the Idlib governorate.

Solomatin added that illegal armed groups active in the Idlib de-escalation zone continue to violate the ceasefire.

"In the past 24 hours, the following settlements were shelled: Akch-Baer, Sandran, Ikko (twice) and Bsharfa in the province of Latakia (five in total); northwestern (thrice) and western (four times) outskirts of the city of Aleppo and the town of Abu Dali in the Hama province," he added.

During the reported period, the Russian reconciliation center distributed 450 food sets to the town of Bluta in the Latakia governorate. Also, 100 sets of warm clothes and 100 bedding sets were distributed in the city of Al-Kiswah in the Rif Dimashq Governorate. Besides, targeted aid was delivered to families of deceased Syrian servicemen.

According to Solomatin, representatives of the Russian reconciliation center took part in a session of the committee to implement the agreement on establishing the Idlib de-escalation zone.

"During the meeting, matters of political and socio-economic situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, as well as matters of ensuring the functioning of the Idlib de-escalation zone," he said.

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