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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia’s UN Envoy Urges Inspectors’ Return to Syria

RIA Novosti

05:15 18/09/2013 UN, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin called for an “immediate return” of organization’s inspectors to Syria for additional investigations into alleged use of chemical weapons.

UN inspectors said Monday that they had found “clear and convincing evidence” that chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, were used in an August 21 attack that killed hundreds of people in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the provided report did not answer many questions and urged an additional UN investigation into allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria.

Churkin said that besides the incident in Ghouta the UN mission, which was led by Swedish professor Ake Sellstrom, should investigate other instances of alleged use of chemical weapons “including the incident on March 19 near Aleppo as well as incidents of intoxication of Syrian government troops on August 22 and 24-25.”

“We hope that the full implementation of the mandate of Sellstrom’s mission will give an objective picture of the events in Syria,” Churkin said.

The inspectors had no mandate to determine who had launched the Ghouta attack - which the US and some of its Western allies have attributed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Moscow and Syria have called a provocation by anti-Assad rebels.

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