According to Putin, the US and its allied did everything possible to stall—and prevent—a proper investigation into the alleged Sarin attack in Idlib, Syria
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, history will not be kind to the US-led “outcry” over the alleged Sarin gas attack in Idlib province, Syia.
It’s been nearly two months since the Syrian Army was accused of using chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhun, but the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has refused to send experts to the scene to conduct a proper investigation.
As Putin told French journalists during his trip to Paris earlier this week, the United States claimed that it was “too dangerous” to send experts to the alleged site of the attack:
When the attack happened, we called on our American partners – and everyone else who considers this to be expedient – to send inspectors to the airfield from which the planes that dropped chemical bombs allegedly took off.
If chemical weapons were used by President al-Assad’s official agencies, modern verification equipment would certainly find traces of this at the airfield. For certain. These traces would be found in the aircraft and at the airfield. However, everyone refused to conduct such an inspection.
We also proposed sending inspectors to the site of the alleged chemical attack. But they refused as well, claiming that it was dangerous. Why is this dangerous if the attack was delivered at an area where peaceful civilians live and the healthy part of the armed opposition is deployed?
In my opinion, the accusations have been made for the sole purpose of justifying the use of additional measures, including military ones, against al-Assad. That is all. There is no proof that al-Assad has used chemical weapons. We firmly believe that that this is a provocation. President al-Assad did not use chemical weapons.
Yes, it was too dangerous to send an international team to a site where “moderate” rebels and civilians lived to collect evidence and samples. As Putin correctly points out, the US clearly did everything it could to stall and prevent a proper investigation—while simultaneously using the attack to justify “additional measures” against pro-government forces in Syria.In April, Alexander Shulgin, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), expressed his frustration and outrage after the US rejected an impartial investigation into the alleged attack:
We guess that Americans probably have something to hide, since they persistently want to take the Shayrat airport out of the investigation. Maybe they knew from the start there was no chemical weapons there, and all this was used only as an excuse?
Watch Putin speak to Le Figaro: