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Russia to submit data to UN Security Council on chemical incident in Syria

Western countries are accusing Damascus of using chemical weapons in the area of Khan Sheykhun in Syria on April 4

MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Russia will submit data of its Defense Ministry on an air strike on chemical arms production facilities in Syria at a session of the UN Security Council scheduled to discuss this incident, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

Western countries are accusing Damascus of using chemical weapons in the area of Khan Sheykhun in Syria on April 4. However, according to the data of the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian aircraft delivered a strike on the workshops where militants were producing ammunition with chemical agents.

"Russia will at least cite in a well-argued manner those data that were mentioned by our Defense Ministry during the work in the UN Security Council," the presidential spokesman said.

As the Kremlin spokesman said, "Russia and its armed forces are continuing an operation to support an anti-terror mission for the country’s liberation, which the armed forces of Syria are carrying out."

Draft resolution

The United Kingdom, the United States and France have proposed that the UN Security Council should pass a resolution on the incident with chemical weapons in Syria. The draft resolution circulated among UN Security Council members on Tuesday evening condemns the attack in Khan Sheykhun reported on April 4 and expresses its full support for the incident’s investigation by the Fact-Finding Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism.

The document says that the Syrian authorities must provide flight plans and logs and any other information on air operations to the two investigative commissions, including all the flight plans and logs for April 4, 2017.

The draft resolution demands that Damascus should give international experts the names of all helicopter squadron commanders and immediately provide access to the airbases from which, as investigators believe, attacks may have been launched with the use of chemicals, and also organize meetings with generals and other officers within five days after the relevant inquiry is received. In case the resolution is adopted, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be instructed to report every 30 days on how the Syrian authorities are cooperating with the investigative commissions.

The UN Security Council will hold an open session on Wednesday over the incident that killed 58 and injured about 300 people, according to data of human rights organizations.

The Russian and Syrian militaries denied their involvement in the chemical attack.

Russia’s Defense Ministry later said that on April 4 the Syrian air force had delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Shaykhun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical munitions. These munitions were sent to Iraq and were previously used in Aleppo.