Russia slams 'propaganda storm' on Syria chemical arms

By REUTERS
July 11, 2013 21:13
1 minute read.

 
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UNITED NATIONS - Russia's UN envoy on Thursday sharply criticized what he described as Western nations' "small propaganda storm in a glass of water" regarding allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin on Tuesday presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a Russian analysis that Churkin said showed how a projectile containing sarin that hit Khan al-Assal in the northern Aleppo province on March 19, killing 26 civilians and military personnel, was fired by rebels.

That report came after Syria allowed Russian experts to visit the site and take environmental samples for analysis. Russia, along with Iran, is Syrian President Bashar Assad's closest ally and chief arms supplier.

The United States, France and Britain, which have informed Ban about at least nine more alleged chemical weapons attacks by the government, cast doubt on the Russian analysis and repeated their previous calls for a UN chemical investigation team to have unfettered access in Syria, not just Khan al-Assal.

Churkin suggested that the three Western nations were making accusations that are not worth taking seriously.

"We need to be looking to credible allegations," he told reporters, adding that the insistence on looking into other incidents besides Khan al-Assal was a "small propaganda storm in a glass of water."

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