Zakharova: Russia strongly condemns use of chlorine by Jaish al-Islam in Aleppo

Moscow, SANA – Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the use of chlorine gas against civilians in Aleppo city in Syria by “Jaish al-Islam” terrorists, expressing Russia’s regret that the West refuses to react to the use of chemical weapons at the UN Security Council.

“Actually, militants from various radical groups only in 2016 used toxic substances several times as chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq. Now the Jaish al-Islam group has used chlorine in Aleppo, and it seems they aren’t even hiding this. Obviously we strongly condemn the use of chemical substances for military purposes whoever it is,
including non-government subjects” Zakharova said in statements on Tuesday.

She added that the use of chemical weapons by radical groups in 2016 in both Syria and Iraq proves that Damascus is not involved in such attacks, as accused by the West.

“The use of chlorine by Jaish al-Islam militants in Aleppo once again confirms what we’ve said numerous times that the blaming of Damascus and publications in the Western media of cases of using chlorine for military purposes, including against civilians, is actually the work of terrorist groups,” Zakharova said.

She referred to Russia’s repeatedly expressed concern that ISIS and other terrorist groups “have acquired great potential in war activities with the use of toxic substances in the region of the Middle East.”

“We regularly bring attention to this and put the question forward on the need for the UN Security Council to react to cases of chemical attacks by terrorists, in particular through amendments in the anti-terrorist goals mandate of the Joint Mechanism of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the investigations of incidents
using chemical weapons in Syria that was specially created in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2235,” she added.

Zakharova highlighted that Moscow is met with resistance by Western countries that “obviously don’t want to attract attention to this mechanism against Damascus’s alleged guilt in such instances by the official Syrian authorities.”

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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