Announcement by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Alexander Lukashevich regarding the messages about the use of chemical poisonous weapons in Syria
Several Arab TV channels distribute alarming messages about the use of poisonous chemical weapons near Damascus on the 21 August. To that end, we undertook proper actions to clarify the accuracy of these reports. Based on the information from the sources available to us, we see the following picture.
Government armed forces have undertaken active actions against militants in different directions, including in the East suburb of Damascus. Early in the morning on the 21 August an improvised missile was launched from the positions occupied by militants, which was similar to that which was used by terrorists on the 19 March in Khan al-Asal, with currently unknown chemical poisonous weapon. There are reports about victims among civilians.
It is worth attention that shill regional mass media immediately, as if on command, started an aggressive information attack resting responsibility on the government party. Probably it is also not by chance that there was stove-piping regarding the use of chemical weapons before and earlier, including lately, with reference to some oppositions sources, which were not confirmed later. This does suggest that it is again all about an earlier planned provocation. It is supported by the fact that this criminal action near Damascus was committed the very moment, when the UN fact-finding mission investigating the reports about alleged use of chemical weapons there has successfully started its work in Syria.
This resembles very much the attempts to create a reason for putting forward claims towards the UNSC by any means, to take the side of the opponents of the regime and thus disrupt the chances to convene the Geneva conference, for the preparation of which another meeting of Russian and American experts is scheduled for 28 August.
Moscow considers the conduct of such objective and professional investigation of the events to be important. We appeal again to all those who have the ability to affect armed extremists, make all efforts to put an end to the provocations with the use of chemical poisonous weapons.
21 August 2013