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24 tonnes of toxic substances found in areas in control of militants

March 10, 18:01 updated at: March 10, 19:23 UTC+3 DAMASCUS

"Western countries wanted to prove that the Syrian government forces were the ones who had used chemical weapons, " Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said

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DAMASCUS, March 10. /TASS/. Syrian chemical weapons specialists have recovered 24 tonnes of toxic substances in the areas previously controlled by militants, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told reporters on Saturday.

"Western countries wanted to prove that the Syrian government forces were the ones who had used chemical weapons. However, we have found substantial amounts of chemicals production. We have numerously declared the fact, but the West wants to heed only the terrorists," he said.

"The OPCW experts are appointed by the West. They do not want to know the truth. When we are saying that those experts do not tell the truth, the United States claims that they are experts who cannot tell lies," the deputy foreign minister added.

Syria filed a question with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) why chemical weapons specialists were unwilling to come to Aleppo or Khan Shaykhun, but received a reply that it was too dangerous.

"We said we were ready to ensure protection, proposed contacting either Saudi Arabia or the US so that they could ensure [experts’] security in the areas controlled by so-called opposition, but they [OPCW heads] turned it down," he concluded.

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