Russia Calls for Return of UN Inspectors to Syria
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin called for an “immediate return” of organization’s inspectors to Syria for additional investigations into alleged use of chemical weapons.
UN inspectors said Monday there was "convincing evidence" that sarin gas was used in a rocket attack in Syria’s Damascus last month.
Churkin said that besides the incident in Damascus the UN mission, which was led by Swedish professor Ake Sellstrom, should investigate other instances of alleged use of chemical weapons “including the incident on March 19 near Aleppo as well as incidents of intoxication of Syrian government troops on August 22 and 24-25.”
“We hope that the full implementation of the mandate of Sellstrom’s mission will give an objective picture of the events in Syria,” Churkin said, as cited by RIA Novosti.
The inspectors had no mandate to determine who had launched the Damascus attack - which the US and some of its Western allies have attributed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Moscow and Syria have called a provocation by anti-Assad rebels.
US allegations that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attack led to threats of military action and then a US-Russia deal for Syria to make safe its chemical arms.