22 august / 2017

Comment by the Information and Press Department on US statements on the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21, 2013

On August 21, 2013 a sarin attack took place in the Eastern Ghouta district of Damascus. This barbaric act caused the deaths of approximately 1,400 people, according to various estimates. The specially created UN Mission presided over by Swedish chemistry professor Ake Sellstrom did not determine who was responsible for the attack, while still essentially confirming the Russian experts’ conclusions regarding the provocative nature of the use of homemade sarin by extremist groups.
The hypocrisy of the White House, the US Department of State and the US Mission to the UN, which unanimously blamed the terrorist attack in Eastern Ghouta on President Bashar al-Assad’s government four years after the event, is particularly disturbing in this regard. It is also troubling that the USA, practically on behalf of the international community, has alleged that official Damascus used chemical weapons on April 4, 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun and, therefore, that the Syrian government is guilty of concealing part of its military and chemical capabilities, which would be a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Also the Syrian government is alleged to be responsible for using toxic substances against Syrian civilians.
This must be categorically rejected, because the relevant international organisation in this case, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed that Syria’s chemical weapons were completely destroyed under international supervision. Also, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in Syria has not yet announced its verdict on who is responsible for the chemical attack.
This is another attempt by Washington to use the incident in Khan Sheikhoun to justify the air strike on April 7, 2017 against the sovereign nation of Syria, in violation of the UN Charter and universally recognised norms of international and humanitarian law. Perhaps such unseemly official comments are written with the possible aim of stepping up interference in Syria’s internal affairs in the future.