Syria harshly criticizes OPCW report on Khan Sheikhun gas attack

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Damascus has censured the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for issuing a “false” report on a chemical weapons attack in the province of Idlib two months ago, saying it has been based on testimonies provided by terrorists.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the OPCW had better avoid using biased and flawed information in preparing its reports on Syria, saying findings of the organization on the April 4 attack in Khan Sheikhun were in fact “the creation of a sick mind.”

It called on the OPCW to prepare “impartial and credible reports that have not been subjected to extortions by countries and parties that prevent it from reaching the truth.”

The OPCW report, issued on Friday, said that sarin nerve gas was used in the controversial attack in Khan Sheikhun that left over 90 people killed. The organization, however, did not blame any party to the conflict for the attack.

The United States and allies in the Middle East swiftly accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of having ordered the attack, saying Russian fighter jets also contributed to the bombardment. Syria and Russia denied any involvement. Moscow said at the time that militants supported by the West could have stored chemicals in a depot that was targeted by Russian and Syrian planes.

The incident, not a first of its kind in Syria’s six-year conflict, sparked fresh concerns of a Western military intervention in Syria and even a full-scale confrontation between the United States and Russia. In an apparent response to the Idlib attack, the US military even fired missiles from a warship in the Mediterranean on an airfield in western Syria, killing several Syrian troops. 

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