UN, September 12. /TASS/. The US-led coalition, which earlier vowed to carry out an airstrike on Syria if chemical weapons are used in the province of Idlib, now says that an offensive would suffice for a military operation, Russia’s UN envoy said on Tuesday.
"We would also like the [US-led] coalition to share its plans regarding Syria with us," Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council session to sum up the results of the September 7 summit between Russia, Iran and Turkey. "The plans that have been made public by high-ranking coalition members and during today’s [UN Security Council] session do not sound very reassuring."
The Russian diplomat said that "open threats against a sovereign state and also [against] Russia have been voiced, which, by the way, are already not linked to the possible use of chemical weapons."
"During Friday’s discussions on the matter, I noticed that our Western partners started talking about certain ‘nuances,’" he said. "They warned that military action against a sovereign state, the Syrian Arab Republic, may be used not only in the event of purported use of chemical weapons, but also in the event of an armed operation in Idlib in general."
Situation in Idlib
Idlib is the only Syrian province still controlled by illegal armed groups. In 2017, a de-escalation zone was established in the region, where militants reluctant to lay down their arms can move together with their families. According to United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, about 10,000 militants from the Jabhat al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda terror groups (both outlawed in Russia) are in Idlib.
Washington says that Damascus’ military may carry out a chemical weapons attack in Idlib and warns that should this be the case, it would entail serious consequences. Moscow believes that these statements indicate that preparations are underway for a new strike against Syria.
The Russian Defense Ministry said, in turn, that militants were working hand in glove with British intelligence services to stage a chemical weapons false flag in the Idlib province and blame it on the Syrian government.