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Aleppo Chlorine Shelling Became Possible Due to Western Aid to Militants

© REUTERS / SANAA woman lies on a stretcher after what the Syrian state media said was a suspected toxic gas attack in Aleppo, Syria November 24, 2018
A woman lies on a stretcher after what the Syrian state media said was a suspected toxic gas attack in Aleppo, Syria November 24, 2018 - Sputnik International
Syrian media reported on Saturday that militants had shelled residential districts of Aleppo with chlorine gas. Syrian government forces responded by pounding their positions, causing significant losses.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that the Aleppo chlorine shelling was made possible because Western countries had been supplying weapons to militants so that they could stage false flag chemical attacks and later blame them on the government.

"This terrorist act comes as result of facilitation provided by some countries to deliver chemicals to armed terrorist groups to use them against Syrian people and to accuse the Syrian government of that, through plays previously plotted by the intelligence (agencies) of states backing terrorism," the ministry noted, as quoted by Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

Calling the UN for Action

Damascus went on to call on the United Nations to take punitive measures against the countries that were supporting the militants who attacked Aleppo.

"The Syrian Arab Republic's government demands that the Security Council immediately and strongly condemn these terrorist crimes and shoulder its responsibilities in preserving international peace and security by taking immediate deterrent and punitive measures against the states and regimes backing terrorism," the ministry said.

'An Attempt to Undermine the Normalization Process'

Russia's Foreign Ministry, in turn, described the Aleppo shelling as an "attempt to damage the Syrian normalisation process", adding that it should be "unconditionally condemned" by the entire international community.

These comments came after on Saturday, SANA reported that militants based north of Aleppo had fired chlorine-loaded shells at the city's al-Khalidiye neighbourhood. Militants also shelled the neighbourhoods of al-Khalidiye and Al Zahraa as well as Nile Street, causing at least 107 people to be delivered to hospitals with asphyxiation and other symptoms typical for poisoning.

READ MORE: Ankara Transfers Militants to Turkey From Syria's Idlib — Reports

Russian military chemists were deployed to the affected area following the attack. A spokesman for Russia's Defence Ministry repeated Moscow's previous accusations that the White Helmets group had been trying to stage provocations using chemical agents in the Idlib de-escalation zone to accuse government forces of using chemical weapons against the local population.

"It is clear that the White Helmets are directly connected with terrorist organisations operating in Syria, and in particular, in the Idlib de-escalation zone," he said.

A Turkish soldier watches the border line between Turkey and Syria near the southeastern village of Besarslan, in Hatay province, Turkey, November 1, 2016 - Sputnik International
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On October 9, Daesh* terrorists attacked Nusra Front militants in the Syrian settlement of Al-Lataminah, killing at least two White Helmet staffers and seizing at least two canisters of chlorine. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the seized chlorine canisters were later transported to the south of Aleppo province and handed over to the terrorists of the Daesh-linked Hurras al-Din group.

According to the Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation, more attacks will come in the future. The city of Aleppo, once the largest in the country, was liberated by Syrian government troops from terror groups in 2016, but militants continue to shell the city from positions in the suburbs.

*Daesh (aka Islamic State/IS/ISIS) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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