Russia: Syria Willing to Clarify Use of Chemical Weapons on Syrian Soil

Victim of chemical attack by Al-Qaeda FSA in Khan Asal, Aleppo
Victim of chemical attack by Al-Qaeda FSA in Khan Asal, Aleppo
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Syria’s OK for UN investigation shows willingness of Syrian government.

After the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the Syrian government in the capital Damascus have already announced that both sides agreed on all modalities of the upcoming investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict by a small team of UN experts, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said to the press that this acceptance by Syria to receive the experts’ team of the United Nations (UN) shows the willingness of Damascus to clarify the alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian soil.

However, Russian experts have already found evidence after the investigation of samples from the place of attack that sarin nerve gas was used by a group of foreign-backed terrorists in an attack in the Syrian region of Khan al-Assal near the strategically important city of Aleppo (Halab) in March, 2013.

While the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov stated that Moscow considers the acceptance by the Syrian government in Damascus to receive the UN experts’ team so that the UN team is able to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons such as sarin nerve gas in the Syrian conflict as a sign the willingness of the Syrian government to finally clarify this, it is interesting that the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov did not mention the Russian investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria – the investigation of samples from Khan al-Assal by Russian experts has led to the result that “first-hand evidence” for the use of sarin nerve gas by a group of terrorists has been found.

The results and final report of the Russian investigation was handed over to the United Nations (UN) about four weeks ago. Since then, the United Nations (UN) remained very quiet about this topic.

An official of the Syrian Foreign Ministry said yesterday, one day after the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has already confirmed the cooperation of the Syrian government in the capital Damascus in terms of the upcoming investigation, that the recent negotiations between the Syrian government and the officials of the United Nations (UN) have ended positively and that the UN experts of the investigation team will soon (in the next days) arrive in Damascus in order to begin with their investigations.

The UN team shall probe whether chemical weapons have been already used in the Syrian conflict and is allowed to investigate three locations in Syria, including the area of Khan al-Assal, where the Russian investigation has found evidence that a group of foreign-backed terrorists used sarin nerve gas in an attack against Syrian civilians and soldiers in March, 2013. In this attack from March, the armed terrorists have killed over 30 people in Khan al-Assal, which is located near the former important economic centre of Syria, the city of Aleppo.

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said now that the acceptance of the Syrian government was an indication to its readiness to clarify the use of chemical weapon on Syrian soil since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab nation.

According to the report by Russia Today (RT), Gennady Gatilov further said in terms of the agreement by Syria and the United Nations (UN) about the upcoming investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict that this acceptance of Syria creates “a positive ground” to move towards the launch of a political process to settle the conflict and crisis in Syria. According to Russia Today (RT), the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov made these remarks on his account at the short-messaging service Twitter.

Victim of chemical attack by Al-Qaeda FSA in Khan Asal, Aleppo
Victim of chemical attack by Al-Qaeda FSA in Khan Asal, Aleppo

The Syrian government has called for an international investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Khan al-Assal (Khan al-Asal) near the city of Aleppo on March 19th, 2013. However, the Russian investigation found the mentioned “first-hand evidence” for the use of sarin nerve gas by a group of terrorists in this attack in Khan al-Assal, but the United Nations (UN) seem to either not trust Moscow or to still maintain a policy of double-standards.

The final agreement on the soon beginning investigation by the UN experts’ team has been reached last month. Ake Sellstrom and Angela Kane are the heads of this UN team of experts. Angela Kane is the UN disarmament chief and Ake Sellstrom is a known Swedish arms expert. Both are expected to arrive in the Syrian capital Damascus within the next few days.

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3 Comments

  1. Since chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are considered by a God fearing population to be abominations to God, I have to wonder why Syria had them in the first place. That’s rather a mystery to me; anybody got any ideas?

    • old stockpiles full of chemicals in Syria.. and certainly very very old amounts of chemicals. however, they dont use it and the majority of their personal isnt trained to use it.. so its stupid to assume the syrian army would use chemical weapons. there is such a little number of trained people in the ranks of the army who are capable of using it.. the rest would rather conduct suicide than killing fsa thugs when trying to use it.

      • Possession of a weapon, and training in its use, presuppose a willingness to use the weapon at some time in the past. My question is, that with the evident moral and ethical elevation of Syria above so many, many governments, why Syria had acquired them in the first place. I contrast this with the US which developed the atom bomb; there was no need for them, as Japan was being brought down by famine and would have been forced to capitulate without being invaded but, as one wag put it, ‘If you spend a couple billion dollars to make a firecracker, somebody is going to light it.’ The A bomb was never intended as a defensive weapon, despite all of the post war hoopla. Chemical and biological weapons are not defensive weapons, either, but Syria had reached ‘an accommodation’ with Israel (pleasing neither Syria nor Israel, as we all know), and a chemical weapon attack upon Israel would, most certainly, have been met with an Israeli nuclear strike. The logic for Syrian acquisition of chemical weapons in the first place is lacking. None of this stuff has an infinite shelf life, so I’d be surprised if there was any of the stocks which had not ‘gone bad in the can’, anyway. Actually, my question was why Syria had gotten them in the first place.

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