Attempts to blame Assad for chemical attack are baseless, Russia says

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Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the report on the August 21 chemical weapons attack had produced no evidence that Syrian troops carried out the attack and that Russia believed foreign-backed militants were behind it.

Russia says certain Western states are making baseless efforts to blame the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a chemical weapons attack that allegedly killed hundreds of people in the suburbs of Damascus last month.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich made the remarks in a statement on Tuesday, a day after the United Nations issued a report by UN investigators which said sarin nerve agent was used in the Damascus suburbs attack, without indicating who launched the attack.

Lukashevich said that the Western attempts to blame the Assad government for the attack are “simplistic and groundless”.

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the report on the August 21 chemical weapons attack had produced no evidence that Syrian troops carried out the attack and that Russia believed foreign-backed militants were behind it.

Lavrov made the statement during a joint news conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Moscow.

The Russian foreign minister stated that the UN report proved that chemical weapons had been used, but it failed to answer a number of questions Moscow had asked such as whether the weapons were produced in a factory or they were homemade.

“We have very serious grounds to believe that this was a provocation,” Lavrov said.

He said that there had been “many provocations” by the militants fighting against the Syrian government and people. “They were all aimed, over the last two years, at provoking foreign intervention.”

Lavrov added, “We want the events of August 21 to be investigated dispassionately, objectively and professionally.”
The United States, France, Britain and the foreign-sponsored militants blamed the Syrian government for the attack near Damascus.

The Assad government has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

On September 10, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Damascus is ready to implement a Russian proposal to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international control.

The Russian government proposed the initiative during a meeting between Lavrov and Muallem in Moscow on September 9.

“We want to join the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons. We are ready to observe our obligations in accordance with that convention, including providing all information about these weapons,” Muallem said.

In response, US President Barack Obama asked Congress to delay a vote on authorizing military action against Syria in order to give the Russian proposal a chance to play out.

 

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