MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The situation surrounding the alleged chemical weapons incident in Syria requires international experts to make a prompt visit to the town of Khan Shaykhun and the Shayral airbase, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said ahead of the special session of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), scheduled to resume in The Hague on April 19.
According to Ryabkov, Moscow is concerned over efforts being made by some countries aimed at distorting the situation surrounding the Khan Shaykhun incident. "They are actually trying to make the OPCW draw hasty but at the same time far-reaching conclusions," he added.
"The situation requires a group of international experts to make a prompt visit to the scene of the alleged chemical attack as well as to the Shayrat airbase, as our opponents claim that the chemical attack was launched from there," the diplomat said. "The Fact Finding Mission has been collecting information remotely, refraining from visiting the scenes, while it has also been adjusting its conclusions to previously set political goals that we don’t share, so we are not satisfied with these investigation methods."
Russia calls on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to end fruitless public disputes over Syria, Ryabkov said.
"We offer a reasonable alternative that we expect to break the current deadlock and allow to end fruitless public disputes over Syria," the Russian diplomat added. "We hope that members of the OPCW Executive Council, as well as of the Technical Secretariat, will show high responsibility at this sensitive time," he said.
On April 4, Reuters cited the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that an airstrike on Syrian’s town of Khan Shaykhun had killed 58 people including 11 children.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on April 4, the Syrian air force delivered an airstrike on several militant facilities in the Idlib Governorate, where munitions filled with poisonous substances were being made. However, Washington came to a conclusion that Damascus had used chemical weapons which led the US to carry out a missile attack on a Syrian military air base located in the Homs Governorate.