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    September 26, 2017

    Russia: Terrorists, not the Syrian government committed the April Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack

    September 26, 2017 - Fort Russ News - Paul Antonopoulos

    The director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and weapons control department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told a news conference on Tuesday that Russia has evidence that terrorists and not the Syrian government used sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun in April.

    "We are keeping a close watch on the situation. There is abundant evidence pointing to terrorists, who exploded a sarin bomb for provocative purposes," he said.

    He then went onto highlight that neither investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact-Finding Mission nor experts from the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism have visited Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat airbase, where Washington says the jets that dropped the chemical weapons came from.

    "They are refusing to do this," Ulyanov said. "But according to our data, the security situation allows going to this area," he added.

    "A report of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism on Khan-Shaykhun and Shairat (air base) will come on October 26. We will study this report, will assess its quality and how serious was the investigation or this was once again a distance one. Then we will be able to draw conclusions, as the mandate expires in mid-November, and we will determine whether there is any sense in extending it," the diplomat said.

    "If this is a sham as it has been the case up until now, there won’t be much motivation for extending the mandate," Ulyanov said. "If the investigation proves to be efficient, this is a different story. So, at the moment it is premature to pass a judgement," he added.

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