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LONDON, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - Chemical weapons got into the hands of fundamentalists, fighting against the Syrian government, from Libya - after the overthrow in 2011 of the government of Muammar Gaddafi. This statement was made by Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil in an interview published by The Guardian on Friday.
According to Jamil, the UN report on the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21, which killed more than 1,000 people, presented on Monday, was “not thoroughly objective.” He said Russia had produced evidence showing the rockets that were identified by the UN inspectors as carrying sarin were indeed Soviet-made. But he said they had been exported from Russia to Syria in the 1970s.
“They were loaded with chemicals by Gaddafi and exported to fundamentalists in Syria after Gaddafi fell,” he said.
After the 2011 war in Libya, which led to the overthrow of the country’s authorities, the African country found itself in chaos, in terms of manageability and security, Western experts write. The new government cannot take under control the armed groups of “ex-revolutionaries” who refused to join the ranks of the police and the army or lay down their arms. Against the background of security crisis in the country, the stockpiles of chemical weapons were found in the country that during the Gaddafi rule had been hidden from the “declaration” process to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. The UN has now more clearly expressed concern about the smuggling of arms and ammunition from Libya to Syria.