Russia Accuses Britain of Planning ‘False Flag’ Chemical Attack in North Syria

US continues to threaten to attack Syria if chemical weapons are used

With US officials issuing statements threatening to attack Syria if chemical weapons are used in the invasion of rebel-held Idlib Province, Russian officials are increasingly concerned that exactly such a pretext for war is to be staged.

Russian and Syrian troops guard the Idlib border

Russia issued a statement Saturday claiming that rebel groups, with the help of British special services, are preparing to stage a “false flag” chemical attack inside Idlib, something that they can blame on the Syrian government so the US has an excuse to attack.

Russia’s Defense Ministry reported eight chlorine tanks were recently delivered to Jisr al-Shughur, a town in Idlib, and then later taken to a nearby village to “stage” a chlorine attack. Claims of chlorine attacks are common among rebels, and in the past, reports of a chlorine gas release can quickly grow into wild speculation, without any evidence, of advanced nerve agents being used.

In the past, the US and Britain have required very little evidence with respect to such attacks, launching strikes before any investigation can take place. Eight chlorine tanks would likely be more than enough for such an attack.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.