Russia to send UN evidence implicating rebels in Syria gas attack

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A Syrian soldier walks towards a Russian-made Syrian army armored personnel carrier (APC) stationed along a street leading into Syria's ancient Christian town of Maalula, scene of fighting between pro-government troops and rebel forces on 18 September 2013. (Photo: AFP - Anwar Amro)

Published Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Updated 7:10 pm: Russia Wednesday said Syria had handed over new evidence implicating rebels in a chemical attack outside Damascus which left hundreds dead, and promised to share the information with the United Nations.

Moscow will review the new materials and "of course, present them in the UN Security Council," Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov had announced earlier on Wednesday after the first of two days of talks in Damascus that the Syrian government had handed Russia new material implicating rebels in the chemical attack.

"The corresponding materials were handed to the Russian side. We were told that they were evidence that the rebels are implicated in the chemical attack," Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies after talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem late Tuesday.

He said that Russia would "examine the Syrian materials implicating the rebels with the utmost seriousness."

Russia has repeatedly expressed suspicion that the chemical attack was a "provocation" staged by the rebels with the aim of attracting Western military intervention in the conflict.

Ryabkov also said Russia was disappointed with the report into the chemical weapons attack published by UN inspectors this week, saying it was selective and had ignored other episodes.

"Without a full picture... we cannot describe the character of the conclusions as anything other than politicized, biased and one-sided," he said.

Ryabkov is on a visit to Damascus to emphasize to the Syrian government the importance of implementing "swiftly and strictly" an agreement between Moscow and Washington to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

The United States and its allies claim the attack was carried out by Syrian government forces, and said the assessment released by UN experts released on Monday backed their view.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon is to meet with the foreign ministers of the five key nations in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and three days later, with the top diplomats of the US and Russia, to help resolve the Syria crisis, he said Tuesday.

Ban said the attacks with banned chemical weapons were only the "tip of the iceberg," and urged the major powers to take a "broader" look to tackle the fighting as well as the humanitarian strife.

The United Nations permanent Security Council members held new negotiations on Tuesday on the wording of a resolution to back the Russia-US accord.

Diplomats said ambassadors discussed a French text which included a demand for action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter which allows the use of military force if Assad does not stick to the plan.

But Ryabkov said he assured the Syrian side that there was "no basis" for a UN Security Council resolution on the chemical weapons agreement to invoke Chapter VII.

He said this could only be considered if the UN Security Council was able to confirm violations of the convention on chemical weapons. "This is a hypothetical situation."

"It is especially important that some kind of political interests do not again appear, especially in New York (at the UN Security Council)," he added.

(AFP)

Comments

The west don't care who used CW, or how many died, they just want to blame Assad, sooner or later the truth will come back to haunt the liars.

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