The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday accused the US and the UK of supplying CS, CN toxic agents to terrorist groups operating in the war-hit country.
The US military confirmed in February that more than 5,000 rounds of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition were used in two attacks on in Eastern Syria, despite a pledge that it would not use the controversial ordnance.
The acknowledgment by the spokesman for the US Central Command (CENTCOM) came in an interview with Foreign Policy, in which he said that 5,265 armor-piercing DU rounds were used in November 2015, during two air raids against ISIL oil tanker convoys in the Deir Ezzur and Hasaka provinces in Eastern Syria.
A-10 ground attack aircraft fired the projectiles from their 30mm rotating cannons, destroying about 350 tanker trucks, according to CENTCOM spokesman Major Josh Jacques.
Former White Helmets associate Walid Hindi admitted in mid-May his involvement in fabricating photo and video material, prepared in cooperation with the Turkish Television, during the time when he was working with the notorious group in Eastern Aleppo.
The group prepared fake videos of alleged atrocities of the Syrian army, during the liberation process of Eastern Aleppo.
In his confession, broadcasted on Syrian National Television, Hindi admitted to have worked with White Helmets for three years and received rather huge sums of money, a major portion of which was provided by the Persian Gulf states.
He also described how filming of “atrocities” would take place.
When, for instance, they wanted to stage an airstrike scene, the filming crew would fire sirens and the actors would then immediately rush to the scene. Right after that, live streaming of events would begin, accusing the Syrian Army of carrying out yet another airstrike, targeting civilians. Hindi said he participated in fabricating videos more than just once.
According to Hindi, the main person responsible for “directing” these staged videos was Ibrahim Al Hajj, with Mohammad Al Sayed being the main cameraman.
Also, another former associate named Imad Abdul Jawad admitted to have witnessed possession of chemicals by terrorists in Aleppo, saying “During my work shift as a guard I was once asked to transfer a bunch of barrels, containing something that my supervisors called “detergent and washing powder”.
“I was supposed to transfer the materials from the district of Al Sukkariyeh to the district of Amariya,” he added.
He then explained that his task was basically to unload the wares at the entrance of the building, pointing out that on one occasion, after finishing unloading the content, he saw people wearing uniforms, silver masks and protective boots and were carrying the goods he just transported to the cellars.
On one occasion, Jawad managed to get closer and he saw people opening the barrels and pouring their content out into something that looked like gas cylinders, adding that contents looked nothing like washing powder or detergent. He described the liquid, which was being poured out of the barrels, to have a rather foul smell. When his boss noticed he is watching the procedure, he was dismissed immediately.
A diplomatic source and the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria disclosed in may secrets proving the video clip that accused the Syrian Army troops of carrying out attacks on civilians in Eastern Idlib was fake.
A diplomatic source who requested anonymity told Sputnik that the latest footage of a chemical weapons attack against civilians in Syria had been filmed recently and appeared to be ordered from a European country.
Meantime, the Russian Reconciliation Center said, “According to information from a number of sources among local residents and opposition formations … special ‘video brigades’ carried out staged filming in the past week of alleged consequences of shelling and airstrikes, including with the use of ‘poisonous substances’.”
The center added that some of the “consultants” of the brigades were recognized by the locals as cameramen shooting news in the region for the Al Jazeera channel.
It is not the first time such reports emerge. On May 2, al-Mayadeen broadcaster reported, citing local sources and eyewitnesses that a group of the White Helmets’ activists accompanied by one of the Arab satellite channels arrived in the area near Idlib in Syria to shoot staged videos allegedly depicting consequences of a chemical attack.
However, the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) non-governmental organization issued a report earlier in the year, stating that the “lifesaving” procedures shown in the videos published by the White Helmets are incorrect, fake and “ultimately performed on dead children.”
On April 4, a chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib province claimed the lives of some 80 people and inflicted harm on an additional 200 civilians. The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, as well as a number of Western states, accused the Syrian government troops of carrying out the attack, while Damascus refuted these allegations, with a Syrian army source telling Sputnik that the army did not possess chemical weapons.