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Russia's mission to UN says West encourages Syrian militants to use chemical weapons

May 22, 21:07 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Russia warns that the threat of chemical terrorism remains real in the Middle East

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UNITED NATIONS, May 22. /TASS/. Opposing Russia’s’ initiatives at the UN Security Council on fight against chemical terrorism, Western countries are encouraging Syrian militants towards the use of chemical agents, says a report on the Syrian ‘chemical dossier’ posted on the official website of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN on Tuesday.

"Over the past three years, Russia has repeatedly proposed adopting a UN Security Council resolution or at least a statement by the UN Security Council President condemning acts of chemical terrorism in Syria and Iraq," the mission said.

"Unfortunately, all Russia’s proposals to this effect invariably encountered stiff opposition from a number of Western countries, who preferred to insist on their groundless accusations against the alleged use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad’s legitimate government. In doing so, the Western countries give a sense of impunity to the militants encouraging them to use chemical weapons," the Permanent Mission said.

The Russian side has warned that "the threat of chemical terrorism remains real not only Syria, but also in Iraq and the Middle East in general". "Militants are using toxic agents with increased frequency. Moreover, they already possess the technical and manufacturing capabilities to produce warfare chemicals in their own right, and established far-reaching supply channels to access precursors," the report warned.

According to the Russian mission, "there is no hiding that the militants count within their ranks former officers from Middle Eastern countries who used to work on chemical weapons programmes in Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), Libya (under Muammar Gaddafi) and Syria (before its accession to the CWC)". "Even representatives of the US-led coalition have reported many times on the discovery of underground ISIS workshops for making chemical weapons," it said.

It reiterated that against the background of allegations of chemical attacks in Syria, Russia submitted on January 23, 2018 a draft resolution at the UN Security Council "on the creation on a new investigative body that would be legitimate and, even more importantly, totally impartial and highly professional".

"However, the Western members of the UN Security Council vehemently oppose Russia’s initiative. In its counter projects, the US takes into consideration only a small portion of Russia’s ideas, reducing the initiative to re-creating the JIM with all its shortcomings," it summed up.

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