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Syria ready to provide OPCW investigators access to Shayrat airbase — UN envoy

April 13, 2:41 UTC+3

According to Jaafari, security guarantees from terrorist groups operating in this area and "the countries providing assistance to them" will be necessary to provide experts access to Khan Sheikhoun

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© AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

UNITED NATIONS, April 13. /TASS/. Syria is ready to provide experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) access to Shayrat airbase to check whether sarin, which Western countries claim was used during the attack against the city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, was stored there, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, told a meeting of the UN Security Council.

He noted that Damascus had sent a letter to the OPCW Director General, Ahmet Uzumcu, asking him "to send an unbiased and professional mission to Khan Sheikhoun and Shayrat airbase to determine what exactly happened." "Syria emphasizes its willingness to provide the mission access to Shayrat airbase to determine whether sarin was stored there," the diplomat said.

According to Jaafari, security guarantees from Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups operating in this area and "the countries providing assistance to them" will be necessary to provide OPCW experts access to Khan Sheikhoun.

On Wednesday, Russia blocked the draft resolution, which said that Damascus must hand over all data on April 4 flights to the OPCW and provide access to the airbases that could be used to carry out a strike against Khan Sheikhoun.

Jaafari noted that the Syrian government is interested as nobody else in shedding light on what happened in that city. However, he spoke out against "the draft resolutions that have the insidious wording that forestall the results of any probes" and are aimed at "accusing the Syrian government in advance" of wrongdoings. The diplomat thanked Russia for vetoing the document.

The US military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a military airfield in Syria’s Homs province overnight to April 7 on instructions issued by President Donald Trump. The strike came in response to what Washington believes was the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons in the Idlib province. The US authorities asserted that the alleged chemical attack was launched from that airfield.

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