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    Men ride a motorbike past a hazard sign at a site hit by an airstrike on Tuesday in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017

    No One Tried to Reject Russian Expert Conclusions on Khan Sheikhoun Attack

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    No one tried to challenge the conclusions of Russian experts saying that a Syrian aircraft could not technically attack the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the head of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov, has said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Russia vetoed the US draft resolution that sought to prolong the mandate of the United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) examining the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Russia's own draft on JIM fell short of the required number of votes at the UN Security Council.

    "I want to stress that at a joint briefing in the Russian Foreign Ministry on November 2 our military colleagues presented evidence saying that that the Syrian aircraft could not strike Khan Sheikhoun. It was technically impossible. It could not happen, otherwise it would be contrary to physical laws, ballistics. But no one even tried to challenge our conclusions, they simply hush them up, while blaming Damascus," the head of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov said.

    He added that such an approach was "primitive" and "biased."

    The Russian parliament's International Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky said on Friday that the criticism of western states with regard to Russia's veto on a UN Security Council resolution extending an international probe into the use of chemical weapons in Syria is unfounded and is being used to undermine Moscow's image on the international arena.

    "The criticism of the western states regarding Russia's veto at the UN Security Council [UNSC] on the US-drafted resolution on the prolongation of UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism's mandate to investigate chemical attacks [in Syria] is absolutely unjustified. The West is once again trying to introduce an uncoordinated resolution through the UNSC, meanwhile Russia's proposals on the issue are being rejected," he said.

    Slutsky added that the hype around the veto was aimed at marginalizing Russia's image worldwide and at promoting western geopolitical interests.

    Meanwhile, current UN Security Council president and Italian Ambassador to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi said that the UN Security Council will continue its work to find a way to agree on the mandate.

    "The Council will continue to work constructively in the coming hours and days to find a common position in light of this crucial non-proliferation issue that we've been debating for the last several days," he said on Friday.

    In late October, the JIM presented the UN Security Council with a report on the April 4 chemical incident that took place in Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib province of Syria, reportedly killing over 80 people with the toxic nerve agent sarin. The report blamed the Syrian government for the alleged gas attack. The panel also accused the Daesh terrorist group of using chemical weapons in an attack on Syria's Um Housh in September 2016. The Russia's Mission to the United Nations said that the report looked more like an amateur document and was based mostly on assumptions and the selective use of facts.


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    chemical weapons, Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, Russia
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