Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' against IS militants in Syria

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass three million, UN says

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Middle east

Russia says rebels behind chemical attack in Aleppo

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-07-10

Russia has told the United Nations that Syrian rebels fighting the government are likely producing chemical weapons and had used them in an attack in March that killed two dozen people and injured more than 80 in the city of Aleppo.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Tuesday that Syrian rebels had likely manufactured and used chemical weapons –including the sarin nerve agent– in the bloody civil war against forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said a Russian scientific team had access to the site of an attack in Khan al-Assal, a government-controlled suburb of Aleppo, where 26 people were killed and 86 others injured by chemical weapons on March 19.

Churkin claimed results revealed that the unguided Basha’ir-3 rocket that had hit Khan al-Assal was not a military-standard chemical weapon, but one that was being produced by a brigade affiliated with the opposition Free Syrian Army.

“Therefore, there is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal,” according to Churkin.

Russia, Assad’s closest ally, said the samples taken from the impact site of the gas-laden projectile were analyzed at a Russian laboratory certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

West to review findings

Reacting to the Russian claim, the White House said it could not confirm allegations that Syrian rebels were behind chemical attacks.

“We have yet to see any evidence that backs up the assertion that anybody besides the Syrian government has had the ability to use chemical weapons or has used chemical weapons,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday.

Russia said it would provide the over 80-page report to fellow UN Security Council members United States, Britain and France so they could review the findings, but that the document would not be made public.

France and the United States have previously claimed Assad’s forces used sarin gas against rebels.

French daily "Le Monde" reported in May that sarin had been used by government forces the previous month in Jobar, a key battleground near the Syrian capital of Damascus, and that journalists had smuggled samples out of the country for tests. Days later Paris said that it was “certain” Assad was guilty of using chemical weapons.

In June, Barack Obama’s administration says it had “high confidence” that the Syrian army had killed up to 150 people with sarin gas.

Acting US Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said Assad should now allow UN chemical weapons experts into the country to conduct an investigation of the Khan al-Assal incident as well as the French and American allegations of chemical weapons use.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)
 

Date created : 2013-07-10

  • SYRIA

    Syrian opposition PM Ghassan Hitto resigns

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Opposition takes Syria seat at Arab League summit

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian opposition leader al-Khatib stands down

    Read more

COMMENT(S)