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Moscow concerned over chemical weapons use in Mosul

March 10, 14:07 UTC+3

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman comments on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons statement on poisonous substances in Mosul

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© AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russia is profoundly concerned about the use of chemical weapons in the Iraqi city of Mosul. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Friday that the worst fears over proliferation of chemical terrorism throughout the Middle East are coming true.

"Russia fully shares the concern over the use of chemical weapons in Iraq’s Mosul expressed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN, "the diplomat said. "We have been monitoring the situation since March 2013. In light of this, of considerable interest are the assessments by Western experts who stated that after Mosul’s seizure by ISIL (former name of the Islamic State, IS, terrorist group, outlawed in Russia - TASS) the Islamic State has considerably expanded its capabilities to make poisonous substances."

According to Zakharova, the use of chemical warfare agents fully contravenes humanitarian law. "The recurrence of chemical terrorism in the Middle East, including in Syria and Iraq, cannot fail to give rise to profound concern," she noted. "The ISIL, the Jabhat al-Nusra (terror group, outlawed in Russia - TASS) and other extremist groups have been able to acquire not only industrial and household and toxic chemicals but also full-fledged chemical warfare agents. Terrorists have acquired a real potential to make and use chemical weapons."

"The terrorist activity of non-state actors in Syria and Iraq has become even more widespread, systemic and transboundary," the diplomat emphasized. "Unfortunately, our worst fears over proliferation of chemical terrorism throughout the Middle East are coming true. Moreover, all this could spread beyond this region."

"This is a serious and real problem. It is necessary to tackle this issue, and we expect the Iraqi authorities to take vigorous actions in this matter," Zakharova noted. "Of course, we fully support the OPCW’s determination to provide comprehensive assistance to Baghdad in launching the relevant national probe."

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