France Suspects Damascus of Possessing Clandestine Chemical Weapons Facilities
17:01 13.09.2018(updated 17:20 13.09.2018)
PARIS (Sputnik) - The French Foreign Ministry has doubts about whether Syria has indeed completely destroyed the country's chemical weapons arsenal, the ministry's representative said at a briefing on Thursday.
"The Russian-US agreement of 2013, adopted by Resolution 2118 of the [UN] Security Council, called on the Syrian regime to destroy all the stockpiles of chemical weapons. This provision soon became vulnerable, after it was revealed in 2014 that Syria continued to use chemical weapons, despite the fact that it was declared that its [chemical-weapon] arsenal had been completely destroyed. We believe that today Syria has clandestine facilities," the representative said.
He recalled that the Syrian armed and security forces had been found responsible for the use of chemical weapons by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at least four times.
The ministry's representative also regretted that Russia had three times vetoed the UN Security Council's draft resolutions, providing for the imposition of sanctions against the Arab Republic over the breach of its obligations.
"France will continue to support red lines regarding the use of chemical weapons in close coordination with closest partners. As [French Foreign Minister] Jean-Yves Le Drian recalled, verified use of this weapon, resulting in deaths, would have same consequences as in April last year," the representative said.
The alleged chemical attacks against civilians in Syria have been used as a pretext for aggression by the Western nations against the war-torn Middle Eastern country. In the most recent case in April, France, the United Kingdom and the United States hit what they called Damascus' chemical weapons facilities with over 100 missiles. The Western allies' attack followed the reported chemical weapons attack on civilians in the Syrian city of Duma.
Damascus has repeatedly denied any involvement in attacks on civilians. Moreover, Syrian President Bashar Assad has emphasized that Damascus had gotten rid of its chemical weapons stockpiles under the supervision of the OPCW.
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