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Tonnes of toxic agents discovered in Syrian areas liberated from terrorists — top brass

International organizations refuse to cooperate with Damascus in investigating chemical weapons attacks, according tot Russia's Defense Ministry

MOSCOW, March 21./TASS/. International organizations have refused to cooperate with Damascus in probing chemical attacks, although more than 40 tonnes of toxic agents have been found in the Syrian areas liberated from militants, the commander of Russia’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force, Major General Igor Kirillov, told the Russian Foreign Ministry’s news briefing devoted to the Skripal affair on Wednesday.

"Damascus has officially confirmed its readiness to assist in any investigation into a chemical attack in Syria. However, international organizations have refused to cooperate with the Syrian government, practically conniving with terrorist organizations in their illegal activity. The Syrian Foreign Ministry pointed out that more than 40 tonnes of chemical warfare agents have been discovered on the territories liberated from terrorists," Kirillov said.

He suggested taking a broader look at the Skripal poisoning case, "especially at the current moment, against the background of the developments in Eastern Ghouta". The general reiterated that accusations against Damascus for an alleged use of chemical weapons are getting increasingly frequent in Syria. "At the same time, the international community prefers turning a blind eye to the real facts in which chemical weapons are used in Syria against the government troops and civilians," Kirillov added.

Ex-Colonel Sergei Skripal formerly from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate convicted for spying for the United Kingdom, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent on March 4 and found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, UK. Both of them were hospitalized and are in critical condition.

British authorities blamed Russia for the poisoning, but failed to provide any evidence to support their accusations. Russia refuted all of London’s allegations. With that, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and the suspension of high-level bilateral contacts. In response to London’s moves, Russia has declared 23 British diplomats personae-non-gratae and will expel them, will close the British consulate general in St. Petersburg, and terminate the British Council’s activity in Russia.