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OPCW acts somewhat secretly in the issue of Syrian chemical probe — Lavrov

April 15, 22:29 UTC+3

Moscow insists on organizing of an international group of experts to investigate into the incident with possible use of chemical weapons in Syria Khan Sheikhoun

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MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. The Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as yet acts somewhat secretly in the issue of investigation into the alleged incident with use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib Province, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference following his talks with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani on Saturday.

Moscow insists on organizing of an international group of experts to investigate into the incident with possible use of chemical weapons in Syria Khan Sheikhoun, which could rely on staff of the Secretariat of the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), but which also could feature additional professionals from the UN SC permanent members, European countries and countries of the region, Lavrov said.

"We are confident, results of such work would be objective and, of course, those involved in that action, should be brought to responsibility," the minister said. "I would not want to be discoursing now whether some special tribunal should be set up. There have been quite many various tribunals, but they, unfortunately, have not received a good reputation from the international community."

"I do not doubt there would be a way to have those who did it face the responsibility," the Russian minister said.

"Till now, experts of the OPCW’s Secretariat (in the investigation into Khan Sheikhoun) for some reason are acting somewhat secretly," the Russian minister said. "They announced post factum that a few days earlier some way they took tests at the site, delivered them to the laboratory, which, I understand, is not certified by OPCW itself."

"It is unclear why they are undertaking such weird actions," he added.

According to data of the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian warplanes delivered an air strike on April 4 that hit workshops where terrorists were producing munitions with chemical agents supplied to Iraq and used in Aleppo.

However, Washington concluded that Damascus had used chemical weapons. As a result, the US military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on the military aerodrome in the province of Homs, from which, as Washington believed, a chemical attack had allegedly started. The missile strike killed 10 people.

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