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Russia: West is finding 'excuses' not to investigate chemical attack allegations - Lavrov02:43

Russia: West is finding 'excuses' not to investigate chemical attack allegations - Lavrov

Russian Federation, Moscow
April 13, 2017 at 12:33 GMT -00:00 · Published

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on UN inspectors "to transparently, independently and professionally" investigate not only the airfield where it is alleged that chemical weapons were loaded onto planes but also the site where the Syrian Arab Army carried out a strike. He was speaking at a press conference held alongside his Bangladesh counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, in Moscow, Thursday.

Lavrov noted, "To the question to our American, French and British colleagues, 'Why do not they pay attention to the fact that they need to visit not only the airfield they suspect was the place where chemical weapons were loaded onto planes but also the place where these shells struck?' they answered, 'We do not know who controls this area [and] that it is not safe to send inspectors there.'"

The top diplomat argued that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution, calling on Damascus to give UN inspectors access to all government military sites in Syria as part of investigation into the Syria chemical attack, which was vetoed by Moscow, "was formed unilaterally and was jammed with demands solely to the Syrian government requiring it to open access to all of its military objects and so on. There were no instructions to inspect the site in Idlib Province where the incident had happened."

The Russian foreign minister stressed that that the airstrike was carried out by Syrian aircraft in an area controlled for six years by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). He claimed, "In this region chemical weapons were said to have been produced, which were then used in Iraq and Syria."

Lavrov added, "If our Western partners refuse to include the request to those who help extremists in the region, which demands them to open access to the site for inspectors, then they are afraid to ascertain truth."

The UN resolution came after Syria's Al-Shayrat Airbase was the target of a US Tomahawk missile strike ordered by US President Donald Trump, a direct response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun near Idlib for which he holds Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible. Damascus has denied its involvement in the incident.

Russia: West is finding 'excuses' not to investigate chemical attack allegations - Lavrov02:43
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on UN inspectors "to transparently, independently and professionally" investigate not only the airfield where it is alleged that chemical weapons were loaded onto planes but also the site where the Syrian Arab Army carried out a strike. He was speaking at a press conference held alongside his Bangladesh counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, in Moscow, Thursday.

Lavrov noted, "To the question to our American, French and British colleagues, 'Why do not they pay attention to the fact that they need to visit not only the airfield they suspect was the place where chemical weapons were loaded onto planes but also the place where these shells struck?' they answered, 'We do not know who controls this area [and] that it is not safe to send inspectors there.'"

The top diplomat argued that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution, calling on Damascus to give UN inspectors access to all government military sites in Syria as part of investigation into the Syria chemical attack, which was vetoed by Moscow, "was formed unilaterally and was jammed with demands solely to the Syrian government requiring it to open access to all of its military objects and so on. There were no instructions to inspect the site in Idlib Province where the incident had happened."

The Russian foreign minister stressed that that the airstrike was carried out by Syrian aircraft in an area controlled for six years by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). He claimed, "In this region chemical weapons were said to have been produced, which were then used in Iraq and Syria."

Lavrov added, "If our Western partners refuse to include the request to those who help extremists in the region, which demands them to open access to the site for inspectors, then they are afraid to ascertain truth."

The UN resolution came after Syria's Al-Shayrat Airbase was the target of a US Tomahawk missile strike ordered by US President Donald Trump, a direct response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun near Idlib for which he holds Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible. Damascus has denied its involvement in the incident.

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