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Probe into incident in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun not finished yet - Russia’s Foreign Ministry

November 25, 2017, 21:27 UTC+3

"Sooner or later, real perpetrators of the crime will be identified. Russia is set to eventually attain it," Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a commentary

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MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. The investigation into the chemical weapon incident in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun has not been finished as of yet and Russia will insist on the search for those guilty, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a commentary circulated on Saturday.

"The probe into the chemical weapon incident in Khan Shaykhun has not been drawn to a close," the document said. "Sooner or later, real perpetrators of the crime will be identified. Russia is set to eventually attain it."

"Simultaneously, we will exert every effort to oppose further politicization of the OPCW [the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] and also new attempts to compromise the Syrian ‘chemical dossier’ so that certain countries can achieve their programmed geopolitical goals, and what is more, with rather unscrupulous means," the ministry said.

OPCW session

At the United States’ request put forward more than two weeks ago, the OPCW Executive Council had convened an emergency session over the Syrian ‘chemical dossier’ that ended on Friday night in The Hague, the ministry said.

"More than once the session was interrupted and later resumed without any explanations following demands of the US," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "Such undignified conduct, which runs counter to the OPCW routine practice, was justified by Washington’s determination to succeed in pushing through an extremely tough anti-Syrian draft resolution which a majority of the Executive Council’s members were not prepared to support."

"The document was supposed, by referring to unsubstantiated conclusions of the seventh report of the alleged OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), to announce that Syria had used sarin as a chemical weapon in Khan Shaykhun on April 4, 2017," the ministry said. "Proceeding from that, the draft drew a conclusion that Damascus had failed to declare all the chemical weapon arsenals at its disposal. So Syria’s government was obliged to declare all remaining chemical weapons in a span of 45 days after the resolution was approved."

Moscow’s stance

"Since the very beginning, Russia has remained steadfast at the OPCW Executive Council and strongly opposed the US draft document proceeding from the fact that its starting point about Damascus’s alleged guilt in the use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun does not withstand any criticism," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia experts proved the deficiency of this unsubstantiated verdict by presenting evidence to an interdepartmental briefing at the Russia’s Foreign Ministry on November 2, 2017," the Foreign Ministry said.

"It is noteworthy that nobody has been able to contest our findings since then and has not even tried," it says. "The United States and its allies, fearing an open and professional discussion, pretend that these assessments do not merely exist."

"The United States had to withdraw the draft resolution eventually," the ministry continued. "We would like to say words of respect and gratitude to those states that refused support to the document and showed a high degree of responsibility for the soundness and reasonableness of decisions taken by the OPCW."

Incident in Khan Shaykhun

The incident in Khan Shaykhun, in Syria’s Idlib province, where a chemical bomb is thought to have been exploded, occurred on April 4. Nearly 100 people were killed. The Russian Defense Ministry said Syrian planes had bombed terrorists’ workshops where chemical weapons were being made. Washington accused Damascus of a chemical weapon attack. On April 7, the US Navy staged a night-time missile attack against a Syrian military airfield in Homs province.

On October 26, 2017, the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, commissioned to investigate chemical attacks in Syria, presented its report to blame the Khan Shaykhun incident on the Syrian authorities. On October 31, Russia dispatched to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly the results of its preliminary evaluations of the investigators’ report. It said that the findings were "amateurish" and the conclusions contained in it relied on "a layman’s methodology.".

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