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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Putin slams 'unacceptable' accusations over alleged chemical attack in Idlib

Iran Press TV

Thu Apr 6, 2017 9:21PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned as unacceptable the "unfounded accusations" about a purported chemical attack in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib earlier this week, calling for an international probe.

During a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, "the two sides exchanged views on the chemical incident that took place on April 4," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin "pointed out that it was unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation."

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman told Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth daily that he was sure Syrian government forces were behind the "chemical weapons attack."

At least 86 people, including 30 children and 20 women, were reportedly killed in the suspected chemical incident in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Iblib province on Tuesday. The United States and its allies have put the blame on the Syrian government.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has dismissed any accusations that the Syrian army deployed chemical weapons in Idlib.

He told a press conference in Damascus on Thursday that foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups continue stockpiling chemical weapons in the country's urban and residential areas.

Al-Nusra Front, also known as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Daesh "and other terrorist organizations continue to store chemical weapons in urban and residential areas," Muallem said.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic are both investigating the Khan Shaykhun attack.

Muallem said Syria would provide the OPCW and the UN with "intelligence on the transfer of chemical substances from Iraq into Syria, or from Turkey into Syria."

He said Damascus needs assurances that any fact-finding mission into the Idlib attack would not be politicized, adding that his country's past experience with international inquiries had not been "encouraging."

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