Syria Is against the Use of Chemical Weapons, Continues to Cooperate with OPCW Fact-Finding Mission

THE HAGUE, (ST)- Syria has strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons and expressed concern over attempts by some countries, mainly the United States, to promote lies and fabrications accusing Syria of using chemical weapons, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Bassam al-Sabbagh said in a statement on Wednesday during the 92nd session of the organization’s Executive Council in the Hague.

Al-Sabagh regretted the way the mission of the fact-finding committee regarding the use of chemical weapons works. He said this mission hasn’t abided by the rules of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), it has conducted its investigations remotely, refused to visit the alleged chemical attacks sites under several pretext and depended on open sources for information like the fabrications of the so-called “White Helmets” group, which serves as Jabhat al-Nusra arm, as well as on testimonies of some people who support terrorist groups.

He pointed out that Syria has always cooperated with the fact-finding mission and facilitated its work.

 Al-Sabagh went on to say that Syria has renewed the official request, it has previously submitted to the OPCW, to end a fact-finding committee to Khan Sheikhoun and al-Latamneh towns which have recently been liberated from terrorist organizations, in order to conduct investigate the alleged chemical incidents with the purpose of reaching real conclusions not fake ones.

He stressed that Washington has anticipated the fact-finding committee’s investigations on the use of chemical weapons in Syria by accusing Syria of such behavior.

In this regard, al-Sabbagh voiced Syria’s condemnation of the remarks made by the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo on alleged chemical incident of May 19th  and in which Pompeo accused the Syrian army of using chemical weapons in a town in Lattakia countryside.

“These are lies and a violation of the OPCW’s authorities,” he said, affirming that such US behavior aims hindering the Syrian government’s efforts to restore security and stability countrywide.

Al-Sabbagh made it clear that the crimes being committed by the terrorist organizations against the Syrian people besides the support of regional and international parties including the crimes of using chemical weapons have become well-known to all. He pointed out that Syria has been keen on informing the OPCW and the Security Council about terrorist’s activities and their possession of toxic chemicals and their preparations to stage chemical attacks.

Syria believes that it is necessary to focus the international efforts on this terrorist danger and on the effective application of the rules of the Chemical Weapons Convention without politicization, he said, stressing the need to adopt a decisive stance against the countries which provide protection for the terrorist organizations to help eliminate terrorist chemical activities completely.

Hamda Mustafa