Moscow insists chemical weapons were not used in Syria’s Idlib

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov

… from TASS, Moscow

– First published … April 07,  2017

Russia insists that chemical weapons were not used in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday.

“We insist, and we state this with full confidence, that no chemical weapons were used in any form, be it toxic substances, be it homemade chemicals like chlorine, which were allegedly used by someone and at some point in Syria. Nothing of the kind occurred.”

“According to our information, as the Russian Defense Ministry said, a workshop where militants manufactured landmines stuffed with chemical agents, which were used by terrorist groups, was hit. There are reasons to believe that they will be used not only in Syria, but in Iraq as well,” Ryabkov added.

Russia will not trust ‘quasi-experts’ ‘opinion of Idlib incident

Moscow will not trust any conclusions regarding the suspected chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib province that will be made only by Western experts, Ryabkov said.

“We are against distance investigations – by means of collecting depositions by the notorious White Helmets, who have utterly discredited themselves as fake-makers pursuing geopolitical aims,” Ryabkov said. “We are against using claims by the so-called London-based Observatory for Human Rights in Syria as a basis for any charges.”

“If a decision is made and the international community agrees that a fact-finding trip by OPCW specialists to the scene of the incident is possible and necessary, then the group must incorporate delegates from countries that represent not just the so-called group in the UN Security Council. We distrust the quasi-experts the governments of a number of Western countries, including the United States, dispatch there and then dictate to these specialists conclusions that are targeted against Damascus for political reasons. What impartial and professional investigation can one expect in a situation like this?” Ryabkov asked.

Investigation should be conducted on the ground

The investigation into the Khan Shaykhun incident should be conducted on the ground and be controlled by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ryabkov said.

“We are against a remote investigation that would be conducted by collecting information provided by the so-called ‘white helmets’ who have discredited themselves by producing staged videos for achieving political goals,” the Russian diplomat stressed. “We are also against using reports by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights to make any accusations.”

Russian and Syrian militaries’ denial

On Tuesday, Reuters cited the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that an airstrike on Syrian’s town of Khan Shaykhun had killed 58 people including 11 children. Reuters alleged that the chemical attack could have been carried out by “Syrian government or Russian jets.” The World Health Organization said in a statement that “at least 70 people have died and hundreds more have been affected.”

The Russian and Syrian militaries denied their involvement in the attack. Russia’s Defense Ministry later said that on April 4, the Syrian air force had delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Shaykhun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical bombs. These bombs were sent to Iraq and were previously used in Aleppo.

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3 Responses to "Moscow insists chemical weapons were not used in Syria’s Idlib"

  1. davor  April 6, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Trump has fired 60 Tomahawks on Syria and Assad’s forces. Surely that’s what he meant when he promised to erradicate terrorism. Persuasion or not from the Russians seems to head nowhere. It’s no wonder really, guys like Mattis in any other reality would have been on the Nuremberg like trials for wars and crimes against humanity. But when you have a shit braindead country like USA such things are not possible.

  2. kaho  April 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    A large group of people were said to have been abducted earlier – vanished, disappeared.
    Then suddenly there are all these dead people (gas attack) …
    Is it possible that some of these were the same people?
    The same as those who disappeared?
    That too needs to be investigated.
    Remember the learned lessons – that such incidents should be treated as crime scenes.
    It is a police matter, not a military matter.

  3. US-First  April 6, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    So the Russians took time, assessed the situation and concluded there was no chemical weapons attack.

    Such was the rush to pre-conclusions by the US, Israel and Western allies Bashar Assad got a taste of a kangaroo court. Is he too expected to face the justice meted out to Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein on equally spurious Western charges?

    A drumhead court martial would be more is keeping with the facts on the ground at Khan Sheikhoun where Western-backed rebels put innocent civilians at risk by manufacturing chemical weapons in their midst. They should be tracked down and tried for the deaths they caused. Instead, at the time of writing we have Generals Mattis and Dunford preparing a plan of attack against Syria. This Western circus of Geeks has been on a roll for a while now and I’m not optimistic Deputy PM Ryabkov’s logic or the military deterrence at Putin command can put a stop to it. The Zionists – Hollande, Netanyahu, Lieberman, etc., want their pound of flesh and are pushing Trump to open the cell door for Barabbas.

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