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    Syria Cannot Use Chemical Weapons Because It Has None - Syrian Envoy to UN

    © REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh
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    The Syrian Envoy to the United Nations Hussam Edin Aala has addressed the participants of the conference on disarmament, commenting on the accusations against Damascus on the use of chemical weapons.

    "Syria cannot possibly be using chemical weapons because it very simply has none in its possession," Aala told the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

    The envoy's speech follows the accusations of US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert against Damascus, claiming that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons near Idlib's city of Saraqib. Accoding to Nauert, Washington believes that Russia was shielding the Syrian authorities from accountability for its alleged continued use of chemical weapons.

    READ MORE: French President Macron Threatens to Strike Syria if Chemical Attacks Proven

    Earlier this month, the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic launched an investigation into reports of the alleged use of chlorine in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Eastern Ghouta.

    READ MORE: OPCW-UN Report: 'West Encouraging Syrian Terrorists to Get Chemical Weapons'

    Reacting to the investigation, the Russian Defense Ministry has refuted all the allegations, saying that the US claims were based on rumors and information from militants and that the accusations have never been proven with facts.

    Situation in Eastern Ghouta

    Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry noted that despite numerous claims and accusations against Damascus regarding the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, none of them has ever been proved to be true.

    As the ministry specified, concerning the alleged chemical use in Khan Sheikhoun the UN had failed to conduct substantial investigation as their experts were unable to reach the war-torn area. However, in the case of Eastern Ghouta, UN representatives have full access to the area.

    Accusations Against Syria Over Alleged Chemical Weapons Use

    The voiced claims are not the first ones: on October 26, the UN OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) issued a report, claiming that the Syrian government was responsible for the April 4 sarin attack on the Syrian city of Khan Sheikhoun. 

    The JIM's report alleged that there was sarin nerve gas used in the attack and that it was drawn from stockpiles that the Syrian government, which had been destroyed as part of a 2013 deal with the US and Russia — a process the OPCW itself signed off on as having been completed that November.

    For its part, the Syrian government refuted the report, saying that the UN experts had not done any investigations directly at the scene of the incident. 

    READ MORE: OPCW Verifies 25 of 27 Chemical Weapons Facilities Destroyed in Syria

    Tags:
    chemical weapons, disarmament, United Nations, Eastern Ghouta, Syria
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