Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

Middle east

Syria offers ‘evidence’ that rebels launched chemical attack

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-18

Syria’s government has handed Russia “evidence” implicating rebel forces in a deadly chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus on Aug. 21, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday following talks in the Syrian capital.

Syria’s government has given Russia “evidence” incriminating rebel forces in a deadly chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on August 21, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday.

"The corresponding materials were handed to the Russian side. We were told that they were evidence that the rebels are implicated in the chemical attack," Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian media after meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem for talks late Tuesday.

Ryabkov added that Russia would "examine the Syrian materials implicating the rebels with the utmost seriousness."

Ryabkov’s comments came two days after the United Nations released a highly anticipated report confirming that the deadly nerve agent sarin gas had been used in last month’s attack. Although the report did not assign blame, France, Britain and the United States seized upon it, saying there was "little doubt" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were responsible for the onslaught.

Russia, however, has given a different version of events, insisting that it has reason to believe rebel forces staged the attack in the hopes of forcing Western military action against Assad’s government.

UN report ‘biased’

Ryabkov also criticised the UN report as incomplete and partial. "Without a full picture... we cannot describe the character of the conclusions as anything other than politicised, biased and one-sided," he said.

Ryabkov was in Damascus to present Assad’s government with the terms of a US-Russian agreement to strip Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal. The deal, which was announced over the weekend, is meant to prevent a possible US-led military strike against Syria.

Ryabkov also said that he had emphasised to Moualem the importance of Syria “swiftly" handing over information on its stockpiles of chemical weapons to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a key measure of the US-Russia deal.

The Syrian ambassador to Moscow, Riyad Haddad, told Russia’s Interfax news agency that Ryabkov was expected to meet with Assad later on Wednesday.

Ryabkov said he had assured Syria that there was "no basis" for a UN Security Council resolution to invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows for the possibility of both military and non-military sanctions.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-09-18

  • SYRIA

    France, Russia admit ‘differences’ over Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    ‘Little doubt’ Assad is to blame for sarin attack

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    UN report: 'clear evidence' sarin gas used in Syria

    Read more

COMMENT(S)