US ignored appeals for Syria chemical arms proof: Russia

US ignored appeals for Syria chemical arms proof: Russia
Mon Dec 16, 2013 22:32:26

Russia has slammed the US for ignoring Moscow's appeals for proof of accusations that Syrian government was involved in chemical weapons attacks in the Arab country.

"Our requests for additional information which could prove the Syrian government involvement in the use of chemical weapons were ignored by Washington," Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters after a closed-door meeting on chief UN chemical arms investigator Ake Sellstrom's final report on Monday.

Churkin said allegations about Syrian government involvement in chemical attacks, including an Aug. 21 sarin gas attack that killed hundreds of people, "were not persuasive."

He added that Moscow viewed the Aug. 21 incident as a massive provocation by militant groups aiming to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

The alleged use of sarin - considered one of the world’s most dangerous chemical warfare agents - in a Damascus suburb on August 21 provoked an international outcry which nearly led to a US military strike against the Syrian government, as Western countries assumed it was the Assad government who used the chemical weapons.

However, while a UN investigation proved that sarin was used near Damascus, it did not say who was behind the attack. At the same time, Russia also analyzed samples taken in the Syrian town of Aleppo, where chemical weapons were allegedly used in March. Experts concluded that militant groups - not the army - were behind the Aleppo sarin attack.


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