Russia doubts fast UN probe into Syria chemical attacks
A top Russian diplomat says hopes are slim for a speedy UN investigation of the alleged sarin nerve gas attacks in Syria.
“The situation is politicized to such an extent that we
hardly should hope for anything happening in the near future in
regard to expert conclusions and even the
start of expert work,” said Deputy Foreign
Minister Gennadiy Gatilov.
He added that current plans for a major investigation are
set aside due to preparations for the second international
conference on the situation in Syria.
Gatilov also said that it was very hard to estimate the
possibility of a UN investigation into the more recent incident –
when Turkish law enforcers seized a batch of chemical weapons on
the Syrian border that were allegedly heading to opposition
“One should take into consideration that so far we are
only having mass media reports on the subject and in order to
establish how serious this all is, how this all corresponds to
the reality we need the work of chemists. It will be necessary to
collect all existing facts, to send people there. Now the
probability is low that some groups, including the UN could send
missions there,” the Russian diplomat
On Tuesday French experts announced they had concluded that
the nerve agent sarin was repeatedly used in the Syrian conflict,
at least once by the pro-government forces. At the same time the
commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic by the UN Human
Rights Council said that they had reasonable grounds to believe
chemicals have been used as weapons, but did not identify the
chemical agent, or the perpetrator.
A few days earlier, Turkish media reported that the
country’s security forces had found sarin gas in the homes of
Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who
were previously detained.
Russia has called for a thorough investigation into the
incident, calling the use of chemical weapons “absolutely