A number of Syrian state and media-linked YouTube accounts have gone dark, as the battle for Idlib looms amid Russia’s warnings of an imminent false-flag chemical attack and Western preparations for retaliatory strikes.
On Saturday afternoon, the channels belonging to the Syrian presidency, the country’s Ministry of Defense, and SANA news all showed a message saying: “This account has been terminated due to a legal complaint,” or “This account has been terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
The Damascus-based Sana TV‘s channel on YouTube also appeared to be taken down, with a message reading: “This page isn’t available. Sorry about that. Try searching for something else.”
While YouTube has yet to issue a comment on the matter, it appears that the Syrian channels went offline sometime on Saturday morning, just as Gen. Joseph Dunford warned that the Pentagon is preparing and keeping Donald Trump informed about “military options” for retaliation in case “chemical weapons are used” in Syria.
The US has made it abundantly clear that it is ready to attack Syria, should chemical weapons come into play in the government’s operation to clear the remaining pockets of jihadist resistance in Idlib. Moscow believes that terrorists holed up in Idlib will try to stage a false-flag attack to frame Damascus and justify further air strikes against Syria. It has warned the US against escalating the situation in the war-torn country.
On Saturday, the Russian military said it had obtained “irrefutable” data that terrorist groups, including Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the infamous White Helmets, had already met in Idlib province and plotted the final scenarios for a false-flag chemical attacks in the cities of Jisr ash-Shugur, Serakab, Taftanaz and Sarmin.
The US and its allies have repeatedly stressed their readiness to strike Syria if any attack takes place, ignoring all of Russia’s warnings. In late August, American forces deployed missile destroyer USS ‘Ross’ to the Mediterranean and USS ‘The Sullivans’ to the Persian Gulf. The preparation of US military forces was condemned by Russia, with its Defense Ministry describing the move as “the latest evidence of the US intention” to take advantage of a false-flag attack.