Russian Defense Ministry: Armed groups transport toxic chemicals to number of Syrian areas

Briefing of Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy

11 April، 2017
Moscow, SANA

Russian Defense Ministry warned on Tuesday that the armed groups are currently preparing for attacks with chemical weapons in Syria after they transported toxic chemicals to Khan Shaykhun, al-Jira airport, Eastern Ghouta and to the West of Aleppo.

“According to our information, the armed groups have been bringing poisonous substances to the Khan Shaykhun area, the Jirah airport, Eastern Ghouta and the western outskirts of Aleppo,” Chief of the Main Operations Department of the Russian General Staff Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy said in a press conference.

He added that they aim to create another pretext for accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, saying that “we would like to warn that such steps are unacceptable.”

“At the same time, instances were registered when armed groups used chemical weapons, including improvised munitions. The case files of investigations into some of such episodes have been transferred to representatives of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),” Rudskoy said.

In the same context, the Russian Defense Ministry reaffirmed that accusations against the Syrian Army of using chemical weapons in the town of Khan Shaikoun in Idleb province were baseless.

“We have carefully analyzed the materials in the media accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in the town of Khan Shaikhoun in Idleb province, their authenticity is highly questionable,” Rudskoi said.

“More and more respected experts and organizations are inclined to believe that the video footage of the alleged attack has been fabricated,” he added.

“We demand thorough investigation of a so-called chemical attack by Syrian planes on Khan Shaikhoun,” Rudskoi stressed, adding that Syria’s authorities were ready to let experts examine al-Shayrat airfield.

“We are ready to provide any opportunity, ensure security and let independent experts and representatives of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) examine al-Shayrat airfield. Specialists know that it is impossible to hide traces of chemical weapons,” Rudskoi said.

Manar/Mazen