Kremlin voices regret that OPCW fails to probe Syria chemical incident

MOSCOW, Apr. 26 (MNA) – The Kremlin spokesman expressed "extreme lack of understanding and regret" that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has abstained from investigating the chemical incident in Idlib despite Moscow and Tehran suggesting doing that.

Moscow continues to express its grave incomprehension and regret with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' (OPCW) failure to investigate the April 4 chemical incident in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

"We continue to express our extreme lack of understanding and regret that the OPCW has refused, is so far abstaining, from undertaking this investigation," Peskov told reporters.

He said there are "few doubts" that toxic substances were used, "but coming to some conclusion about who is to blame for this, we believe that it is impossible without an international investigation."

"The Kremlin and President [Vladimir] Putin still believe that the only possible way to establish the truth about what happened near Idlib is an international, impartial investigation," Peskov stressed.

On April 20, the OPCW rejected a proposal by Moscow and Tehran to properly investigate the incident.

On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces claimed that 80 people were killed and 200 injured in a suspected chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, blaming the Syrian government. Damascus vehemently rejected the accusations and said militants and their allies were responsible.

Early April 7, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib, which Washington blames on the Syrian government. Russia described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry reminded the Trump administration that all chemical weapons had been taken out of Syria in mid-2014 with the help of the previous administration of ex-president Barack Obama.

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Sputnik that Western states are blocking attempts to investigate the Idlib chemical incident because in the event of a probe it will be established that the "attack" was a false flag and lie.

The OPCW announced in January 2016 that Syria’s weapons arsenal had been destroyed in accordance with an agreement reached after the 2013 Ghouta attack.


News Code 125037


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