Reasons of chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun: versions of experts
Last night, the day after the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Moscow, Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Vladimir Putin. According to the Kremlin, during the conversation, the Presidents of Russia and Turkey spoke in favor of an expeditious and thorough international investigation of the April 4 chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhun.
Meanwhile, according to the head of the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy at Moscow Humanitarian University, Nikolai Platoshkin, Ankara's position on the incident in Khan Sheikhun looks ambiguous. He suggested that "the escalation of the Middle East conflict, in particular, the chemical attack, was financed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, who feared that Russia and the US may combine their efforts in the fight against international terrorism."
Platoshkin accused a particular person of organizing the chemical attack: "His name is Abdullah al-Muhaysini. This is the head of the Tahrir al-Sham organization, a Saudi citizen who arranged this on purpose to disrupt the rapprochement between Russia and the United States. This 'chemical attack', that did not have any chemical substances, was conducted precisely in order to disrupt Tillerson's visit to Moscow and turn Russia and the US against each other, which would be a shame, since Donald Trump and Putin are sincerely committed to rapprochement with each other".
According to Platoshkin, "Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham was founded on February 28, 2017, it is the former al-Nusra Front(banned in Russia) and Al-Qaida (banned in Russia). The United States effectively bombed this organization this February. They killed virtually all the field leaders in Idlib. On March 11, this organization organized a mass terrorist attack in Damascus. On the same day, the United States recognized it as a terrorist. When everyone realized that a joint strike by the US and Russia was brewing against this organization, they staged a provocation in Idlib. "
Platoshkin believes that now the situation is extremely dangerous and new provocations are possible: "They can bring household pesticides and poison 100 other people. Technically, this can be done at any time, so a meeting between the presidents of Russia and the US was extremely necessary. These people will get along just fine with each other. "
Meanwhile, the director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, is less optimistic about the prospects for Russian-US relations. Speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, he said that although the meeting between Lavrov and Tillerson was a step in bringing together the positions of the United States and Russia, the relations will be uneven in the near future. Meanwhile, according to Mukhin, it is important that the first step was made by the people who have great political significance. "Perhaps, the first meeting opened a candy-bouquet period in relations between Russia and the United States, but these relations will be extremely turbulent and fraught with a clarification of relations. Russia abstracted from participating in the "broad coalition" in Syria and focuses on its own allied relations with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. These relations are not the subject of enthusiastic worship on the part of Western countries, but this is the only effective link that operates in the territory of Syria, which gives a chance to move from a military conflict to a political settlement," Mukhin said.
In his opinion, during the visit to Moscow Rex Tillerson gave no substantive answers: "This shows that the US policy has reached a dead end. The US establishment was somewhat stunned by the impetuous decision of Donald Trump, which was prepared with the help of the Pentagon and special services, to attack the Syrian base. This attack is not aimed at Russia, although it looks like this. It is not aimed at building a special relationship with China. For some reason Donald Trump and his team decided to demonstrate their masculinity to the Chinese in an offensive for them way".
Mukhin believes that the Russian vector will not prevail in the US policy in the near future: "The Chinese vector will be the main and determining factor. And China's reaction to all this splendor demonstrated by Donald Trump, when he deployed an aircraft carrier, greatly exacerbating the conflict around the Korean Peninsula... Rex Tillerson's visit showed that Ukraine, even in part Syria and Russia, is leaving Washington's current agenda. Now we have the opportunity to observe from the outside how the turbulent relations between the People's Republic of China and the US will develop".