07:48 GMT27 October 2020
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    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday criticized the suspected chemical attack in Syria as "barbaric" and claimed there were clues pointing to President Bashar Assad’s government as the culprit.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Syrian opposition claimed Tuesday forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used a chemical gas on people in the northwestern province, killing nearly 80 and injuring 200. Assad argued his government has no chemical weapons after agreeing to have them destroyed in 2013. He also ruled out having used chemicals against own people.

    "It is a barbaric attack that needs to be investigated. The use of chemical weapons is a war crime, which means we must do everything to solve the case. Unfortunately, indications are that the Assad regime was behind this," Merkel told reporters.

    The chancellor shamed the UN Security Council for failing to adopt a resolution condemning the attack and warned those opposing it should consider what responsibility they bore. She promised Berlin would get to the bottom of this case.

    UK, US and French authorities put forth a resolution at an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, accusing the Syrian government of gassing its own people.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier in the day that the US-UK-France-backed draft resolution on the chemical weapons in Syria is based on fake reports mosty from the White Helmets and the SOHR "which cannot be called reliable."

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, in a phone call with the Israeli prime minister, the Tuesday incident needed to be cleared up before making any accusations.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said early Wednesday the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun was carried out by Syrian aircraft, which struck a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq.

    In 2013, the Syrian authorities agreed to transfer its stockpiled chemical weapons to international control for their subsequent destruction, so as to prevent them from falling into the hands of militants operating in the country.

    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)


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