MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari has rejected the allegations presented in the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' (OPCW) report, which accuses Damascus of staging the alleged chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib province earlier this year.
"Some UN committees, such as the Joint Mechanism, which should be neutral, professional, and credible, have proven through their work that they are biased and politicized … Syria rejects in form and substance all that was stated in the report of the Investigative Mechanism in terms of its allegations regarding Khan Sheikhoun incident," Jaafari said, as quoted by the SANA news agency.
According to him, Damascus had handed over a report containing the results of Syria's internal investigation into the Khan Sheikhoun incident, which contradicted the UN-OPCW's findings.
According to Jaafari, the crater at the site of the explosion in Khan Sheikhoun had been caused by a handmade explosive device rather than an airborne shell, as suggested in the report.
The statement comes after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has also commented on the UN-OPCW repor report, stating that there was an obvious divergence from and deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.
Following the report's release, the Russian Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Industry and Trade have presented their own report on chemical attacks in Syria, debunking all three main points in the JIM report.
Idlib Chemical Attack
The Khan Sheikhoun incident that took place in Syria's Idlib province on April 4, 2017, left 80 people dead and injured 200 more. While the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, supported by the United States, immediately blamed the Syrian government for using the chemical weapons against civilian population, Damascus has strongly denied the allegations and reiterated that it does not possess any chemical weapons' arsenal, the full destruction of which was confirmed by the OPCW.
Commenting on the accusations against the Syrian government, Russia has multiple times reiterated its position that all chemical weapons were taken out of Syria in mid-2014 with Washington's assistance and called for a thorough probe into the Khan Sheikhoun events.
Despite Washington immediately blaming Damascus for the alleged chemical attack even before the probe into it was launched, the US has admitted that terrorists in the country are in possession of such weapons.