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A man breathes through an oxygen mask as another one receives treatment, after what rescue workers described as a gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4.
A man breathes through an oxygen mask as another one receives treatment, after what rescue workers described as a gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4.

UN Report Blaming Assad Gov’t for Chemical Attacks “Flawed”

UN Report Blaming Assad Gov’t for Chemical Attacks “Flawed”

Moscow, after its first reading of the report from the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ Joint Investigative Mechanism on Syria, believes that there are flaws in the methodology and that biased evidence was used, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.
Ryabkov said conclusions were derived from “all the same evidence and testimony, which cause us great doubts due to the bias of sources and due to non-compliance with the requirements of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, according to the sequence of collection and storage of material evidence,” Sputnik reported.
“All these logical inconsistencies, internal contradictions are visible even after the first cursory reading,” the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry added.
The report from OPCW claimed on Thursday that the government of Bashar al-Assad is to blame for a chemical attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed dozens of people last April.
The attack prompted a US missile strike against a Syrian air base which Washington said was used to launch the strike.
“Time and again, we see independent confirmation of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime,” Nikki Haley, the United States’ UN ambassador, said in a statement, Reuters reported.
“The Security Council must send a clear message that the use of chemical weapons by anyone will not be tolerated, and must fully support the work of the impartial investigators.”
The report also said the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group was to blame for the use of sulfur mustard in the Syrian town of Umm Hawsh on Sept. 15 and 16, 2016.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China hopes that the conclusions of any investigation have a basis in conclusive proof and are professional, objective and fair.
“The continuing use of chemical weapons, including by non-state actors, is deeply disturbing,” said the report.
“If such use, in spite of the prohibition by the international community, is not stopped now, a lack of consequences will surely encourage others to follow.”
Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons during the country’s more than six-year civil war.

 

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