Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Russian inquiry to UN: Rebels, not Army, behind Syria Aleppo chemical attack

Samples taken at the site where the chemical weapons were allegedly used indicate that it was rebels - not the Syrian army - behind the attack, Russia’s UN envoy Vladimir Churkin has said.
Russia has handed over the analyzed samples to the UN, he added.
Russia’s UN envoy Vladimir Churkin (RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok)
Russia’s UN envoy Vladimir Churkin (RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok)

I have just passed the analysis of samples taken at the site of the chemical attack to the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon), Churkin said on Tuesday. 
Evidence studied by Russian scientists indicates that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels, Churkin stressed.  
It was determined that on March 19 the rebels fired an unguided missile Bashair-3 at the town of Khan al-Assal, which has been under government control. The results of the analysis clearly show that the shell used in Khan al-Assal was not factory made and that it contained sarin, he said. 
More than 30 people died in the Khan al-Assal incident in the northern province of Aleppo in March. Damascus was the first to ask for the UN investigation, accusing opposition fighters of launching a chemical weapon attack. Syrian rebel groups denied the accusations, in turn blaming government forces.
However, the UN investigation has largely become stalled after a group of Western nations insisted on launching an inquiry into a separate case of alleged chemical weapons use in Homs in December 2012. The inquiry requires access to military objects, which Damascus has been unwilling to give.