Rebel fighters load their weapons in the majority-Kurdish Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on April 4, 2013 (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

July 9, 2013 (TSR) – Russian experts have found that militants in Syria made sarin nerve gas and used it in a deadly attack outside northern city of Aleppo in March.

Moscow’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, proclaimed that Russian experts visited the location where the projectile struck and  took their own samples of material from the site.

Those samples, he said, were then analyzed at a Russian laboratory certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“It was established that on March 19 the rebels launched an unguided Basha’ir-3 projectile towards Khan al-Assal controlled by the government forces,” he said.

“The results of the analysis clearly indicate that the ordnance used in Khan al-Assal was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin.”

“The projectile involved is not a standard one for chemical use,” Churkin said.

“Hexogen, utilized as an opening charge, is not utilized in standard ammunitions. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that it was armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal.”

Churkin said he had informed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the Russian findings.

The incident at Khan al-Assal in the northern province of Aleppo killed more than two dozen people.

Ban is scheduled to meet Ake Sellstrom, the Swedish scientist heading a UN team established to investigate allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria, in New York this week.

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari on Monday said his government has invited Sellstrom and UN disarmament chief Angela Kane to Damascus to discuss allegations of banned arms use in Syria’s conflict.

Washington has remained indifferent about warnings by Russia and other world powers about the consequences of arming militant groups.

The latest revelation confirms what UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Carla Del Ponte said in a television interview in May, slamming the Obama double-standard “Red Line” and Netanyahu’s Iraq and Libya deja vu, that “Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated”.

“This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” said Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general who also served as prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the militants of using chemical weapons against civilians, once near Aleppo and second time near Damascus, and another time in Homs in December last year.

On December 17, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said in letters to the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general that the foreign-sponsored militants could use chemical weapons against Syrians and try to shift the blame to the government.

Predictably, USA and its allies did so, and came with the assertion that they have evidence. Russia slammed it and said that the Assad government is winning on the ground and therefore using it would not make sense implying that only desperate groups would do such move which the Syrian rebel armed groups would be more apt to do.

In an interview broadcasted on Turkish television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that if the militants take power in Syria, they could destabilize the entire Middle East region for decades.

The conflict in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The Syrian crisis, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

As the foreign-backed insurgency in Syria continues without an end in sight, the US government has boosted its political and military support to Takfiri extremists.


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