MOSCOW, September 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow calls on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct a thorough investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Iraq, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.“We were deeply concerned to hear alarming reports about the use of chlorine substances as chemical weapons by rebels in Iraq, south of Tikrit,” the ministry said. “These reports are another evidence that numerous terrorist and extremist groups in Syria and Iraq have become skilled at using toxic chemicals as chemical warfare agents.”
“In Syria, it is done for provocative purposes to discredit the government and the armed forces of the country,” the ministry noted. “It can be proved by last year’s developments in Khan al-Assal and Eastern Ghouta, and, obviously, by the developments in settlements of Kafr Zeita, Talmanes and al-Tamana in northern Syria this spring.”
Moscow is confident that “episodes of possible use of chemical agents in rebel-controlled territories in Syria and Iraq are links of one chain,” the ministry said. “In this connection, we call on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to conduct a thorough, unbiased and comprehensive investigation of these incidents not only in Syria, but also in Iraq, like it was done last year by a team of United Nations experts led by Oke Selstrom.”
Apart from that, Russia calls on a number of countries “not to be driven by minute-serving political considerations to jump at hasty conclusions about who is to blame for these crimes.