11:40 GMT25 February 2021
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    The discovery of US and UK-made toxic substances in the areas liberated from terrorists shows the true colors of the US-led coalition, retired Maj. Gen. Vladimir Bogatyrev told Radio Sputnik, calling for a joint effort to stop the spread of chemical weapons and toxic agents in Syria.

    The fact that US and UK-made toxic agents have ended up in the hands of terrorists in Syria revealed true colors of Washington and London amid the ongoing crisis, retired Maj. Gen. Vladimir Bogatyrev, chair of the Board of the Russian National Association of Retired Military Officers, told Radio Sputnik.

    On Wednesday the Syrian Foreign Ministry accused the US and Great Britain of supplying poisonous CS and CN substances to extremists in Syria.

    "The special equipment found consisted of hand grenades and rounds for grenade launchers equipped with CS and CN toxic agents," Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told a press conference in Damascus, "The chemical munitions were produced by the Federal Laboratories company in the US. The toxic agents were produced by Cherming Defense UK and NonLethal Technologies (US)."

    Mekdad focused attention on the fact that in accordance with Article 5 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, the use of toxic agents is permitted only to combat riots and prohibited for use in warfare.

    "So, we can say for sure that the US and UK, as well as their allies in the region, have violated the Chemical Weapons Convention. They support terrorist organizations operating in Syria. They deliver to the militants not only armaments but also prohibited toxic agents," the Syrian deputy foreign minister concluded.

    In response, the US Department of Defense and UK's Chemring Defence dismissed the accusations.

    "Department of Defense assistance to Vetted Syrian Opposition groups is limited to those groups fighting ISIS [Daesh]. That assistance does not now, nor has it ever, included chemical agents like you describe," Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    For its part, UK company Chemring Defence said that it didn't provide toxic agents to terrorists in Syria and "doesn't manufacture chemical weapons or components that can be used for anything like that."

    Canisters found at a terrorist chemical weapons factory in Aleppo
    © Sputnik / Nour Molhem
    Canisters found at a terrorist chemical weapons factory in Aleppo

    Commenting on the issue Ammar Waqqaf, a Middle East expert, the Founder and Director of the analytical organization Gnosos, suggested that both the US and UK governments are likely to ignore this episode.

    The US-led coalition usually closes its eyes to the use of toxic gases by the Syrian "rebel" groups, he highlighted.

    "There have been numerous occasions when rebels clearly used toxic gases," Waqqaf said, "There are even videos, for example in Sheikh Maqsood a couple of years ago where Jaish al-Islam used chlorine gas. There was a clear yellow cloud over there, they even admitted it and later denied it. But nobody speaks about all these things."

    Retired Maj. Gen. Vladimir Bogatyrev shares a similar stance.

    "The information that emerged in the media [on Wednesday], that Syria accuses the United States and Great Britain of supplying toxic elements or even chemical weapons to the Syrian 'opposition'… shows a black and unsightly face of these two countries, these two 'great democracies'," Bogatyrev told Radio Sputnik.

    "So many accusations against the Syrian leadership and the allies of Syria have been made! And today the truth comes out," the military analyst highlighted.

    Previously, the US and EU leadership put the blame for the April chemical incident in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib, on the Syrian government presenting no credible evidence to confirm the claim.

    According to Bogatyrev, the spread of chemical weapons or toxic agents in Syria should be stopped, while the policy of "regime change" conducted by some geopolitical actors needs to be defined as "criminal."

    "All the UN conventions on the prohibition of chemical weapons, all norms of human morality and norms of political behavior on the international scene have recently been violated. And now the first task is to stop any attempts to lie and deceive on the international arena," the military analyst said.

    "Second, it is necessary — specifically under the leadership of the UN Security Council — to block any attempts to spread elements of chemical weapons as well as attempts to divide terrorists into 'good' and 'bad'," he highlighted.

    "And, finally, it is necessary to clearly determine that the policy of the United States and the UK aimed at overthrowing 'undesired regimes' is criminal. Especially, since this is most seriously manifested today in Syria," retired Maj. Gen. Bogatyrev concluded.

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    Tags:
    toxic gas, toxic chemicals, regime change, chemical weapons, The Syrian war, US Department of Defense (DoD), Pentagon, Khan Shaykhun, Idlib, Syria, US, Russia, United Kingdom
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