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Russian diplomat slams UN commission probe into chemical incidents in Syria

September 18, 2017, 16:51 UTC+3 GENEVA

According to a diplomat, the interpretation of the Khan Sheikhoun developments and reports about uses of chemical weapons in Syria could be described as "pure fake"

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GENEVA, September 18. /TASS/. The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic that is tasked to investigate human rights violations in that country is nor an independent structure as it deliberately misleads the world community and its latest report is a blatant fake, Alexei Goltyaev, a member of the Russian delegation, said at a mession of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.

The report released on September 6 blames Damascus for the use of chemical weapons, including in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017 and the Russian aerospace force - for bombing medical establishments in Syria.

"We have studies the commission’s report thoroughly. Regrettably, it only proves our conclusion that the commission is not an independent structure and deliberately misleads with world community backing the biased point of view of some states and political forces," Goltyaev said. "Notably, the commission’s report is absolutely silent about war crimes committed by the US armed forces and its coalition partners during the assault on Raqqa. The commission even tries to justify the strike on the al-Jinah mosque that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians."

According to the Russian diplomat, the interpretation of the Khan Sheikhoun developments and reports about uses of chemical weapons in Syria could be described as "pure fake." The commission, in his words, "has usurped the right to appoint those to blame" whereas the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism has not yet arrived at any concrete conclusions. In the meantime, Russia keeps on insisting that inspectors be sent to Khan Sheikhoun and Shairat to find evidence on the ground.

Russia considers such position as "flagrant hypocrisy." It has become a routine practice for the commission to "make far-reaching conclusions about crimes and violations on the basis of unverified and often invented reports," Goltyaev said. "We understands it only too well that the commission is working in the interests of its sponsors, or the states that are staking on the force change of power in Damascus with the help of terrorists. That is why we don’t this the commission’s activities are yielding any good."

According to the reports, as many as 25 incidents with the use of chemical weapons in Syria have been reported since March 2013, of which 20 are allegedly blamed on the government forces. Moreover, the commission claimed that chemical agents were used, among other things, in Khan Shaykhun on April 4. According to OPCW experts, sarin or other similar nerve agent was sprayed in the city on that day.


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