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Syria proposed to West Russia be engaged in probe into chemical weapons attacks - diplomat

Faisal Mekdad has no doubt that the western countries oppose the truth as they refused to conduct the investigation in Syria

DAMASCUS, March 10. /TASS/. Syria suggested to the West that Russia should take part in investigation into chemical weapons attacks in the country, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told reporters on Saturday.

"We proposed that Russia be engaged. We invited Western partners to visit the Shayrat air base from where, according to their allegations, government forces had carried out chemical weapons attacks," Mekdad said. "The talks lasted for about three or four months, but each time they refused to come to the airfield."

"I am convinced that neither Russia nor other countries, Syria’s allies, would like government forces to use toxic substances. The picture, which the West is drawing now, is a lie and a show," he said.

"They claim that our investigations are based on information from open sources," the high-ranking diplomat noted. "The United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey support so-called opposition, those who have used chemical weapons against civilians."

He has no doubt that the western countries oppose the truth as they refused to conduct the investigation in Syria.

"Have they presented reliable facts? No," the deputy foreign minister concluded.

Incident in Khan Shaykhun

The incident in Khan Shaykhun, in Syria’s Idlib province, where a chemical bomb is thought to have been exploded, occurred on April 4, 2017. Nearly 100 people were killed. The Russian Defense Ministry said Syrian planes had bombed terrorists’ workshops where chemical weapons were being made. Washington accused Damascus of a chemical weapon attack. On April 7, the US Navy staged a night-time missile attack against a Syrian military airfield in Homs province.

On October 26, 2017, the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), commissioned to investigate chemical attacks in Syria, presented its report to blame the Khan Shaykhun incident on the Syrian authorities.