Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
© Agence France-Presse
Medlem af USA's kongres, Tulsi Gabbard
I en tale i kongressen den 13. september anklagede Tulsi Gabbard Trump administrationen for at beskytte al-Queda terrorister i Idlib. Ifølge kongresmedlemmet beløber det sig til et forræderi mod det amerikanske folk og ofrene for al-Qaeda's 9/11 angreb i USA.

Republikaneren Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) anklagede Præsident Donald Trump og Vicepræsident Pence for angiveligt at beskytte al-Qaeda* i Idlib i Syria, i en tale til kongressen den 13.

"For to dage siden holdte Præsident Trump og Vicepræsident Pence højtidlige taler om angrebet 9/11 2001, hvor de talte om, hvor meget de bekymrede sig om ofrene for al-Qaedas angreb på vores land. Men nu står de frem for at beskytte 20.000 til 40.000 al-Qaeda og jihadi styrker i Syrien og truer Rusland, Syrien og Iran med militær magt, hvis de vover at angribe disse terrorister," understregede kongresmedlemmet.

Gabbard qualified the Trump administration's handling of the Idlib problem as nothing short of "betrayal of the American people" and most notably, "the victims of al-Qaeda's attack on 9/11 and their families."

"For the president, who is commander in chief, to act as the protective big brother of al-Qaeda and other jihadists must be condemned by every member of Congress," she emphasized.

While Damascus is preparing to launch an advance on Idlib, the last terrorist stronghold in Syria, which accommodates, according to some estimates, up to 70,000 jihadi militants, Washington continues to issue threats against Syrian government forces and their allies trying to pressure them into abandoning the operation.

In late August, National Security Adviser John Bolton expressed suspicions that the Assad government could resort to the use of chemical arms in Idlib and threatened Damascus with a "strong" response.

The Syrian government has repeatedly pointed to the fact that it destroyed its chemical weapon stockpiles as well as chemical weapon production facilities between September 2013 and August 2014 under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was verified by the OPCW in January 2016.

Commenting on the upcoming offensive on the terrorist-held province, President Trump tweeted on September 3 that "President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib province."

​"The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don't let that happen!" he claimed.

On September 12, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley groundlessly blamed Russia, Iran and Syria of what she called a plan to "use" chemical arms in Syria.

"What we told, you know, the Syrians, the Russians and the Iranians was, well, twice we have warned you not to use chemical weapons; twice you have used it, and twice President Trump has acted. Don't test us again," Haley said in an interview with Fox News, referring to chemical incidents in Khan Sheikhoun and Douma and subsequent missile strikes against Syrian government forces by the US and its allies.

However, no evidence has been presented so far to confirm the involvement of Damascus and its allies in the incidents so far. Likewise, there has been no proof presented backing the claim that the Syrian government is going to use poisonous substances in the region.

In contrast, the Syrian Foreign Ministry and Russian Ministry of Defense are citing evidence of a potential terrorist-arranged chemical provocation being coordinated in Idlib province. It was reported that the White Helmets NGO had smuggled a large shipment of poisonous substances to Ahrar al-Sham warehouses in Idlib.

Meanwhile, Damascus is amassing forces to launch an attack against Idlib, which is home to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham*, an umbrella terrorist organization led by al-Nusra Front*, an al-Qaeda associated group in Syria.

For its part, Russia is holding talks on the situation in the region with Iran and Turkey as well as with other players within the framework of the UN Security Council and on the Geneva platform.

*Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Fatah al-Sham), al-Qaeda are terrorist groups, banned in Russia.