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    Civil defense members inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes on Tuesday, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017

    Syria Ambassador to UN Refutes Accusations of Chemical Weapons Use by Army

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    The ambassador has also questioned why investigators had not visited the site of the alleged chemical attack in the Idlib province.

    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.

    He also asked why the investigators had not visited Khan Sheikhoun or the Shairat airbase, which was allegedly used by Syrian troops to stage the chemical attack, adding that the Su-22 jet that allegedly carried out the attack could not have moved along the trajectory mentioned in the UN-OPCW report.

    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.

    UN-OPCW Report

    According to the UN-OPCW report, the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is allegedly responsible for the use of sarin in the Khan Shaykhun incident, while Daesh terrorist group is responsible for the use of sulfur mustard in Umm Hawsh. The Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations has commented on the document, stating that the report looked more like an amateur document, and was based mostly on assumptions and the selective use of 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.

    READ MORE: Russia Debunks UN-OPCW Report Blaming Damascus for Idlib Chemical Attack

    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.

    READ MORE: Al-Nusra Terrorists Reportedly Hide Chemical Weapons in Idlib Governorate

    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.

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    Investigation of Chemical Attacks in Syria Came Under Pressure From UNSC – JIM
    OPCW Verifies 25 of 27 Chemical Weapons Facilities Destroyed in Syria
    Moscow: US Position Over Probe Into Chemical Weapons in Syria Unacceptable
    Tags:
    chemical weapons, Bashar Jaafari, Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, Syria
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