On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces supported by the United States blamed the Syrian government for an alleged chemical weapon attack in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province. Reacting to the incident, Washington, which had not presented any proof of the chemical weapons use by Damascus, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on the Syrian governmental military airfield in Ash Sha’irat on April 6.
On June 20, the OPCW said that its fact-finding mission confirmed that man-made chemical sarin, a gas used as a chemical weapon, was used in Khan Shaikhoun in Idlib in early April, but did not determine who was responsible. None of the experts of the OPCW mission and the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism visited the place of the incident.
The recent report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations accused the Syrian government troops of being responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun incident without providing any evidence.
The Russian Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Industry and Trade have presented their own report on chemical attacks in Syria in the wake of a UN-OPCW document, which accuses Damascus of using chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4.
The recently issued report put the blame for a chemical weapons incident in Syria's Khan Sheikhun on President Bashar Assad. Russia's deputy foreign minister has stated that Moscow may propose measures to improve methods of probing chemical attacks after examining the results of the findings.
On Wednesday, Russia blocked a UN Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution on the extension of the OPCW-UN mission's mandate set up to investigate the alleged chemical attacks in Syria. Moscow indicated that the prolongation of the mandate, known as JIM, should be decided only after assessing its report, due to be released later on Thursday.
Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov said Tuesday that the reason why a mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) hadn't inspected a Syrian village hit by a chemical attack in April is unclear, as the area is safe enough for such a visit.
Russia does not rule out that US statements on the use of chemical weapons by Damascus are written with a view to possible intensification of interference in Syria's internal affairs, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
The US strikes in Syria without investigation prove that Idlib chemical attack was staged, Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad said on Wednesday during a press briefing in Damascus.