The Syrian government is ready to grant admittance for independent experts and OPCW representatives to the Shayrat airbase, from which, according to the US, an alleged chemical attack was carried out on Idlib province.
The Syrian authorities are ready to allow experts and representatives of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to examine the Shayrat airbase in the Syrian province of Homs, which was struck by US missiles, and “promote their work in every way,” the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy.
In their turn, Russian military have promised to ensure the experts’ safety.
“We are ready to provide any opportunities, provide security and grant admittance for independent experts and representatives of the OPCW to the Shayrat airfield for an expert examination. Experts know that it is impossible to conceal traces of chemical weapons,” Rudskoy said.
He also noted that two facilities for production and storage of chemical weapons are located on the Syrian territory, controlled by the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition, while all such facilities had been destroyed on the territory, controlled by the Syrian authorities.
“Destruction of 10 of the 12 facilities, used for storage and production of chemical weapons, was confirmed by OPCW experts. The Syrian authorities do not have access to the two remaining facilities, as they are located on the territory, controlled by the so-called opposition. For this reason, the OPCW cannot confirm the fact of destruction of chemical weapons on them,” the Colonel General said.
According to Rudskoy, Syrian terrorists also actively use chemical weapons of handicraft production on the territory of the Arab country.
“At the same time, instances of the usage of chemical weapons by militants, including of handicraft production, were spotted. Investigation materials for some of them were transferred to representatives of the OPCW,” he said.
The Colonel General noted that militants bring chemical agents to several areas of Syria in order to provoke new US strikes against Syria.
“According to the information we have, militants are currently bringing chemical agents to the areas of Khan Shaykhun, Jira airfield, Eastern Ghouta and to the west of the city of Aleppo. The purpose of these actions is to create another reason for accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons and provoking new strikes by the US,” Rudskoy said.
He also added that militants used the US missile strike on the Shayrat airbase and attacked Syrian troops in the area of Palmyra, but all the attacks were repelled. The Colonel General noted that “two tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and eight pick-up trucks with large-caliber machine guns” of militants were destroyed, while “over 150 terrorists” were killed in the attack.
Rudskoy stressed that Russia demands a thorough investigation of the incident with chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun. He reminded that the US leadership did not wait for results of the investigation on Khan Shaykhun and, “on April 7, gave an order to carry out a missile strike on the Shayrat airfield in violation of the international law.”
The Colonel General said that the accusations of using chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities are questionable. He added that “more and more authoritative experts and organizations are inclined to the opinion on the fabricated nature of the filming” in Khan Shaykhun.