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Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2013

Russian experts claim rebels, not Syrian army, used chemical weapons as UN asked to investigate

Samples taken at the site where the chemical weapons were allegedly used actually indicates that the rebels, not the Syrian army, is behind the attack, Russia’s UN envoy Vladimir Churkin has said.

Russia has handed over the analyzed samples to the UN, he added.

Photo/Freedom House

Photo/Freedom House

“I have just passed the analysis of samples taken at the site of the chemical attack to the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon),” Churkin said on Tuesday.

Evidence studied by Russian scientists indicates that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels, Churkin pointed out.

“It was determined that on March 19 the rebels fired an unguided missile Bashair-3 at the town of Khan al-Assal, which has been under government control. The results of the analysis clearly show that the shell used in Khan al-Assal was not factory made and that it contained sarin,” he said.

Churkin added that the contents of the shell “didn’t contain chemical stabilizers in the toxic substance,”and therefore “is not a standard chemical charge.”

The RDX, the explosive nitroamine commonly used for industrial and military applications, found in the warhead was not consistent with what the armed forces use. Russia supplied weapons to the Assad regime and worked with their leadership on handling the weapons as the rebel forces gain strength – more on that story here

According to Moscow, the manufacture of the ‘Bashair-3’ warheads started in February, and is the work of Bashair al-Nasr, a brigade with close ties to the Free Syrian Army.

More than 30 people died in the Khan al-Assal incident in the northern province of Aleppo in March. Damascus was the first to ask for the UN investigation, accusing opposition fighters of launching a chemical weapon attack. Syrian rebel groups denied the accusations, in turn blaming government forces.

The UN has also decided to exclude Russian and Chinese experts from the investigation team, with Syria protesting this decision.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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