12:28 GMT20 September 2020
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    The United Nations has shared a yet-unreleased report with US newspapers contending that North Korea has been sending material to Syria to make chemical weapons, but Rick Sterling of the Syria Solidarity Movement says there is good reason to be skeptical.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if they do have some trade between those two countries — but chemical weapons? I'm very skeptical of that," Sterling told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Tuesday. "Just because something comes from the United Nations doesn't mean it's objective or neutral."

    ​"Unfortunately, when we hear references to the United Nations it has a nice, neutral ring to it. But sadly, the United Nations is failing in a lot of areas. And that can be seen by the country that is heading the human rights council independent panel that appoints the experts — that country is Saudi Arabia," Sterling, also an investigative journalist, told Sputnik.

    US President Donald Trump has tried to show the world he takes the issue of chemical weapons very seriously. Last April, the commander in chief ordered a volley of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched at a Syrian air force base the US claimed was being used to help carry out chemical attacks against civilian targets.

    Moscow has maintained that the "chemical attack" Trump responded to needs an independent investigation before concluding that it actually happened. Moscow's position was vindicated earlier this month by the US defense secretary, of all people.

    Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters February 2 the US government does not have evidence that the Syrian government has deployed lethal sarin gas. "We do not have evidence of it," Mattis said, noting that "we have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it's been used."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    sarin, UN, Rick Sterling, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Syria
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