By Rani Abdo
(Zaman Al Wasl) A senior member of the British Labor Party said Iran ordered the allied Shiite militias in Syria to launch offensive on Khan Sheikhoun, almost three weeks since the deadly Sarin gas attack killed 90 people in the northern town.
Speaking to Zaman al-Wasl, the source presented information that he said refers to what is more dangerous than the chemical attack as “the Iranian orders stressed the need to burn everything in the city, and do everything possible to gain control of the city where the massacre took place.”
He explained that the purpose of taking control of Khan Sheikhoun is to hide the any proofs of using chemical weapons in the town. He pointed out that Iranian insistence on the urgency of taking control of the city “perhaps indicates Iran's involvement in it [the attack] as well.”
Western media reported that Russia was involved in bombing the Khan Sheikhoun Hospital to conceal the traces of the chemical attack. Western media also indicated that Russian officers may have been present at Shayrat airbase at the time the warplane carrying the sarin gas took off. Russian military involvement may have prompted Russia to veto a resolution imposing an international investigation into the massacre and its perpetrators.
The regime's involvement in the massacre is indisputable, but the Iranian and preceding Russian actions raise suspicions about the possibility that these two countries were involved. Observers comment that the most significant aim of their participation in the chemical attack on Hama’s northern countryside is to pave the way for taking control of the city.
Over the past ten days, the regime and its auxiliary militias have launched a continuous attack on Hama’s northern countryside with constant aerial support. The regime and auxiliary forces have succeeded in regaining control of most of the opposition held positions in the northern Hama countryside. According to observers, their advance will not stop except in Khan Sheikhoun.
Abu al-Walid al-Hamawi, a commander in Jaish al-Izza, described the recent battles in Hama as the most violent in the history of the Syrian revolution, “ The regime and scores of Shiite militias are advancing north with air cover from the regime air force and its Russian counterpart which are both using missiles.”
He was unable to confirm the aim of the attack, but did not exclude that the attacks are aimed at more than regaining control over sites recently liberated by opposition factions.