Damascus and Moscow have accused militants and the White Helmets of staging several provocations involving chemical weapons to influence public opinion and justify foreign intervention in Syria.
Russia wants the White Helmets to be taken away from Syria as quickly as possible, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said during a session of the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
“The White Helmets are a threat to security of regional states. Therefore, we would ask you, please, take them home as soon as possible. All of them,” Nebenzia said.
The White Helmets is a Syrian humanitarian organization that claims to have saved tens of thousands of lives. Both Moscow and Damascus said that the White Helmets had ties with terrorists and extremists. The group’s head, Raed Saleh, said in August that the White Helmets, however, were not linked to any terror organization.
At the same time, Syria’s Envoy to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari has called on the security council to launch an investigation into crimes of the US-led coalition and to end its illegal presence in Syria.
“In order to preserve the credibility of the Security Council, the Council has to launch immediately an investigation into these crimes to ensure and avoid their recurrence and to end the presence of U.S. and other foreign forces in Syria, this illegal presence,” Jaafari said during a Security Council meeting.
Speaking further, Jaafari said that the religious leaders of Jabhat al-Nusra are preventing the terrorist organization from implementing the Russia-Turkey agreement because they want the bloodshed to continue.
“Do you know that al-Nusra front refused to implement the Russian-Turkish agreement which ended three days ago in Idlib?” Jaafari said. “The religious leaders of Al-Nusra Front are now in disagreement with the political leaders of al-Nusra Front. The religious leaders of al-Nusra Front do not want to implement the Russian-Turkish agreement, because they want the bloodshed to continue.”
The religious leaders of the Nusra Front, he added, who are mostly from Egypt and Turkey, want to carry out their jihad in Syria.
Last month, Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib by October 15. The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that more than 1,000 militants had left the area and around 100 heavy weapons had been pulled out.