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Russia presses for Syria chemical attack investigation

Lavrov: 'Objective' investigation of deadly attack should be done under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Russia presses for Syria chemical attack investigation

Lavrov: 'Objective' investigation of deadly attack should be done under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

15 April 2017 Saturday 14:09
Russia presses for Syria chemical attack investigation

Russia Friday pressed ahead Friday for an "objective" investigation of last week's deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria.

"We insist on conducting a thorough, objective, and unbiased investigation into the circumstances of the use of chemicals in Khan Sheikhun on April 4," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Lavrov said the probe, which Russia has called for before, should be organized under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

His remarks came at a news conference with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, and Walid Muallem, who represents Syria’s Assad regime, which is widely blamed for the deadly attack.

The attack, believed by investigators in Turkey and elsewhere to have used sarin, killed around 100 civilians and injured some 500 in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhun, Idlib.

Russia is an outlier internationally for not attributing the attack to the Assad regime.

On the U.S. airstrike on an Assad regime air base in retaliation for the chemical attack, Lavrov said, "We reiterated our common position that it was an act of aggression, a flagrant violation of the principles of international law and the UN Charter."

Lavrov said the ministers also discussed possible joint steps to prevent escalation of the tension in Syria.

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