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The Russian Defense Ministry wants the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to explain how members of the White Helmets (an organization positioning itself as a human rights campaigner - TASS) managed to stay unharmed by sarin in Syria’s city of Khan Shaykhun, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.
"If it is true that sarin was used in Khan Shaykhun, how can the OPCW then account for the fact the charlatans from the White Helmets organization were hustling and bustling inside sarin clouds with no protective gear on? Everybody could see that. It is highly desirable to see Ahmed Uzumcu (OPCW director-general) provide comprehensible answers to these questions as soon as possible," Konashenkov said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that no representatives of the OPCW visited Syria’s Khan Shaykun, so the origin of samples the OPCW claims to have is unclear.
According to him, "in the past two weeks, not a single OPCW representative was seen there." "Where do these samples come from? Who of the OPCW members was able to study them so fast while standard procedures stipulate a complex research which requires time, as we can see in the case of mustard gas use in Aleppo," Konashenkov said.
He recalled that at the end of 2016 Russian experts recorded the use of mustard gas by militants in Aleppo. "Four months later, the OPCW is still unable to deliver an opinion and recognize that the mustard gas found in Aleppo was really "mustard gas," citing the need for additional research. However, as for Khan Sheikhoun, everything has immediately become clear to Mr. Uzumcu, even though OPCW representatives have not visited the area over the past two weeks," Konashenkov said.
2017.04.20 / 17:36