Russia: Rebels in Syria Used Chemical Weapons

Russia says it produced proof scientifically that rebels in Syria used chemical weapons and reinforced claims that the chemical attacks had been staged to provide a pretext for intervention for the West in the Syria conflict.

Vitaly Churkin, the Russian envoy to the United Nations was quoted as saying that laboratory tests were taken at Khan al-Assal, a site where there was an alleged attack using nerve gas close to Aleppo March 19.

The tests indicated, said Churkin that it was the Syrian rebels and not the army who carried out the attack.

Churkin said the results clearly indicate the ordnance that was used, was not manufactured industrially and had been filled with sarin.

He also said the sarin had not been produced in a factory setting, as it did not have chemical stabilizers that are used in military weapons for storage over the long term.

The warhead, laced with gas, killed 26, including 16 in the military and was delivered by an unguided Bashair-3 missile manufactured under makeshift conditions by the brigade known as the Bashair al-Nasr that has close ties to Free Syrian Army.

Therefore, Churkin said, it is very likely that the armed rebel fighters used the chemical weapons.

Those samples were collected by Russian chemical experts and not through any intermediaries, as were the samples from the West.

The 80-page report with the chemical analysis was handed over by the Russian envoy on Tuesday to the U.N. Secretary General.

Last month President Barack Obama said the Syrian government crossed the red line when it used chemical weapons, prompting the U.S. government to start arming the rebels in Syria.

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