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Claims Syrian gvt used chemical arms ‘fabricated’ – Moscow

Published time: April 25, 2014 14:56
Edited time: April 25, 2014 19:03
A woman affected by what activists say was a gas attack on the town of Telminnes breathes through an oxygen mask at Bab al-Hawa hospital, where she was transferred to, close to the Turkish border April 21, 2014. (Reuters/Amer Alfaj)

A woman affected by what activists say was a gas attack on the town of Telminnes breathes through an oxygen mask at Bab al-Hawa hospital, where she was transferred to, close to the Turkish border April 21, 2014. (Reuters/Amer Alfaj)

Allegations that the Syrian government has been deploying toxic chemicals are false, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday. Moscow says that it has evidence to the contrary, adding that such claims could be a pretext for intervention.

The statement was made shortly after opposition reports of chlorine gas attacks emerged. Rebel sources have released photographs and video of what they claim to be assaults by the Syrian government over the past month that share the characteristics of a chlorine attack.

“Accusations against government forces of supposed cases of the use of poisonous chemicals continue to be fabricated,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “According to reliable evidence the Russian side possesses, such allegations do not correspond to reality.”

The statement added that a further anti-Syrian chemical hysteria “makes one wonder” about the true intent of its initiators – initiators “who do not abandon attempts to find a pretext for military intervention in Syria.”

However, the Russian FM noted that the allegations over chlorine deployment were taking place in an environment in which “the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) states that the process of chemical demilitarization in Syria is progressing well, and the export of toxic chemical components can be finished in a reasonable time frame.”

The OPCW declared on Thursday that the total amount of weapons removed from Syria is 92.5 percent of its declared stockpiles.

On Wednesday, AP released a report detailing chlorine gas attacks on rebel-held areas over the past few weeks and months using evidence provided by opposition activists, medics and residents.

The agency’s witnesses reported dozens of cases of people fainting and complications stemming from fume inhalation, with some reporting that the fumes had a yellow-tinged and had a chlorinated smell.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) called for an investigation into the allegations Wednesday, with some members expressing “grave concern,” according to the April UNSC Council President, Joy Ogwu (Ambassador for Nigeria).

On April 13, Syrian State TV reported of chemical attacks in the country, blaming members of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front for using chlorine gas in an attack on the Syrian village of Kfar Zeita, about 200 km north of Damascus-, that killed at least two people and injured more than 100.

Earlier the same day, videos showing a field hospital in Kfar Zeita – which is on the frontline of intense fighting – were uploaded by opposition activists. The pictures showed obviously weakened civilians, including small children, breathing through oxygen masks, as medical personnel attended to them.

“Regime planes bombed Kfar Zeita with explosive barrels that produced thick smoke and odors and led to cases of suffocation and poisoning,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an outside non-profit organization.

Earlier in April, Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari warned the Security Council that armed gangs in Syria were conspiring to stage a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs in order to later lay the blame on the Bashar Assad’s government.

In August 2013, a chemical attack on a neighborhood in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, left 1,400 civilians dead. The tragedy led to a Russian- brokered disarmament agreement that saw the Assad government give up its chemical weapons.

The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has encountered some hitches. At the beginning of March, Syrian convoys transporting chemical weapons under the international agreement were attacked twice the previous month, according to a UN report, causing a delay in chemical shipments out to sea.

Despite these, Syria is making sincere progress, according to the OCPW.

“We’ve always enjoyed constructive cooperation with the authorities, significant investments have been made - of time, effort, technical level, the political level…I think we’ve seen very steady progress thanks to the very good collaboration and ultimately also the government taking this program of chemical weapons elimination seriously,”
Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator with the OCPW told RT.

“Syria is a country at war; the security situation is very volatile, precarious, and it shifts all the time,”
she said.

Kaag noted that while steps still need to be taken, ensuring safety is also an issue. “Success can only be measured when you reach the full 100 percent – I hope, and…we encourage the authorities to do this within the shortest possible amount of time, knowing that 27th April is on Sunday – an internal deadline set by the authorities, but understanding that security remains always a challenge,” she stated.

Comments (14)


James Reese 26.04.2014 21:33

Another failed attempt at a false flag operation. I remember Oblamer never showed all the proof of last years gas attack. If Syria had actually used a gas attack, the proof would be plastered all over the news, instead of just accusations. And the real cause for war: competing oil and gas pipelines proposed to run through Syria.


Emmett 26.04.2014 15:57

Anna Charles 25.04.2014 19:00

Why is the West telling so many lies? Like Iago, the lies get more and more dangerous. Are they determined to create harm?.


The US will never admit they want to control Syria's natural resources and land. They did not admit this when they went into Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other nations on some pretext.

The US & EU are dangerous to humanity. Their goal is for a minority of elites to control the world and its people.


Vadim P 26.04.2014 10:53

Lavrov didn't say they have NO evidence that Assad used chemical weapons, he said they have evidence to the CONTRARY. If Russia proves that US is behind this attack that would constitute a crime - for inciting, planning and financing this attack at the hands of others. So by the same token the US is promoting the removal of Assad "regime" and invading an independent country what the should the world do with the US once proved guilty?

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