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Russian diplomat warns UN of planned chemical attack provocation in Idlib

A Russian diplomat has informed the UN about a new planned provocation involving chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib

UN, October 29. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov informed the UN about a new planned provocation involving chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib during a session of the UN Security Council.

"More reports are appearing about suspicious movements of the Al-Nusra Front (outlawed in Russia - TASS) and the White Helmets with poisonous substances," he said during Monday’s session on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Russian diplomats have repeatedly made warnings about planned provocations with the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians plotted by the White Helmets in order to blame the Syrian government for said attacks and justify Western airstrikes on Syria.

Agreements on Idlib

Russian-Turkish agreements on de-escalation in Idlib were a temporary measure and in no way meant that anti-terrorism efforts in Syria should be stopped, he added. 

"It is worth noting that the de-escalation agreements were initially seen as a temporary measure and the task of eliminating terrorists’ presence in Syria is still on the agenda," he said at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. "In case radical elements continue their provocations, Russia reserves the right to support the Syrian government’s efficient efforts to exterminate the nest of terrorism."

The September 17 talks between the Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Russia’s Sochi yielded and agreement to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib, along the contact line between government troops and the opposition. All heavy weapons are to be withdrawn from this zone. Control in this zone will be exercised by mobile patrol groups of Turkish troops and unites of Russian military police.

Istanbul summit on Syria 

The joint statement of the Russian, German, French and Turkish leaders passed after their summit on Syria in Istanbul will be circulated among United Nations Security Council members as an official document.

"In response to numerous questions, I want to inform the Security Council members that the joint statement of the participants in the four-lateral summit in Istanbul will be circulated as an official document. You will find all the answers there," he said.