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World

AFP
September 12, 2018

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Russia claims Syria rebels ‘staging chemical attack’

MOSCOW: Russia claimed Tuesday that Syrian rebels had begun working on film footage that would be presented to the world as the aftermath of an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian army.

During the seven-year Syrian conflict, the West has accused Damascus on a number of occcasions of using chemical weapons against the civilian population.

The regime of Bashar al-Assad and its top backer Moscow have consistently denied those claims, pointing the finger at rebels instead. The Russian defence ministry, citing Idlib residents, said film crews from several Middle Eastern TV channels — as well as “a regional branch of a leading US news channel” — had arrived for the shoot in the city of Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib.

“By the end of the day”, all the footage should be handed over to the TV channels which would release it through social media, the defence ministry claimed. IS ambush kills 21 regime fighters in Syria: An ambush by the Islamic State jihadist group has killed 21 regime fighters in Syria’s southern province of Sweida, a Britain-based war monitor said on Tuesday.

The attack occurred late Monday in the rural Tulul al-Safa area of the province, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) southeast of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Eight jihadists were also killed in subsequent clashes in the area, which is the jihadists’ last bastion in Sweida, the Observatory said. State news agency SANA reported heavy clashes with IS in the area, adding that government aircraft and artillery “targeted hideouts and positions” held by the group.

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