Moscow warns against US interference in both Syria and Venezuela

Russian diplomacy is concerned about US interference in both Syria and Venezuela.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Moscow was concerned that terrorists have not abandoned the idea of launching chemical attacks against Syrian civilians.

White helmets deployed equipment in several hospitals in the Syrian province of Idlib to film chemical attacks under false flags and blame them on Damascus, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, quoted by Sputnik, said Thursday.

“There are also serious concerns that terrorists have not abandoned the idea of carrying out chemical attacks against civilians. According to reports, a group of activists of the famous so-called humanitarian organization, the White Helmets, have prepared the necessary equipment in several Idlib hospitals to film such provocations,” Zakharova told a press briefing.

The spokesperson explained that tension was mounting in the Idlib de-escalation zone, claiming that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists were daily bombarding settlements and actively reinforcing their forces near the line of contact with Syrian Government forces.

Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly pointed out that the White Helmets have organised a number of provocations involving the use of chemical weapons in Syria in order to attribute them to Bashar al-Assad and to provide Westerners with a justification for military intervention against the Syrian government.

Speaking of the American withdrawal from Syria, announced by Trump, Zakharova said that Moscow had asked Washington to immediately withdraw its troops from the al-Tanf area and place the area under Damascus control.

“We urge Washington to immediately withdraw its troops from al-Tanf and transfer control of this territory to the Syrian government, which we believe is best placed to take care of its citizens,” Zakharova warned.

Last week, Foreign Policy magazine announced that the United States was considering keeping troops at its strategic base in southeastern Syria, al-Tanf, in order to “prevent Iran from establishing a land line of communication with southern Lebanon”.

This development comes a month after US President Donald Trump declared victory over Daech and later announced a complete and immediate withdrawal of his troops from Syria.

Without a UN mandate or authorization from Damascus, the US-led coalition conducted air strikes against Syria as part of the so-called Daech fight.

The Syrian government, for its part, has repeatedly denounced the illegal military presence of the United States, demanding the withdrawal of US troops from its country but also from the al-Tanf base.

As for the Venezuelan crisis, the Russian diplomacy spokeswoman said at the press briefing that external military interference was a serious threat to Venezuela.

She said the listings on the notebook of John Bolton, White House national security adviser, reflect the fact that the United States is considering all options in Venezuela.

“American media, like the New York Times, are calling on the Venezuelan opposition leader to overthrow the country’s legitimate government,” she said.

“It openly encourages the Venezuelan armed forces to launch a military coup,” she added.

“Unfortunately, we cannot say that the threat of large-scale armed conflict has passed,” she noted.

Zakharova said Russia has both the know-how and experience to deal with representatives of different political camps to play a mediating role in the Venezuelan crisis, warning the international community of the consequences of US sanctions against Venezuela’s oil industry.


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