03:06 GMT14 August 2020
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    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov stated that the United States is trying to use the 'chlorine' issue to continue to put pressure on Damascus.

    MOSCOW, February 2 (Sputnik) — The United States is trying to put the Syrian government under pressure using the information on chlorine production facilities allegedly captured by jihadists, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told RIA Novosti on Monday.

    In December 2014, the Syrian government warned the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that suspected Islamic State militants had seized a number of industrial resources in the country where chlorine-containing substances were stored.

    "The United States is trying to use the 'chlorine' issue to continue to put pressure on Damascus," Gatilov said.

    Member of UN investigation team taking samples of sands near a part of a missile in Damascus countryside of Ain Terma, Syria
    © AP Photo / United media office of Arbeen
    He stressed that the issue of chlorine is not directly linked to the matter of Syrian chemical disarmament.

    Syria joined the OPCW in 2013, following sarin attacks near Damascus, for which both the Syrian government and rebels have traded blame. In January, the country began dismantling underground bunkers, tunnels and hangars used for production and storage of chemical weapons.

    Earlier on Monday, Gatilov said that the disarmament was complete and there remained no serious issues preventing the destruction of Syria's chemical stockpile.


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