UN: Russia calls on UN to fully investigate possibly 'staged' Syrian chemical incident

Head of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov said Moscow leans towards the view that the April 4 chemical weapons incident at Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria's Idlib province, was staged, stressing the need for the incident to be «carefully studied» during a UN briefing in New York, Friday. «We believe that JIM [Joint Investigative Mechanism... Еще] must work out all the versions including airstrikes. At the same time we expect that the version of the staged incident will also be carefully studied. Since, frankly speaking we tend more and more to opt for that version,» stated Ulyanov. The Russian diplomat presented photos and videos, including several depicting children, from the alleged scene of the incident. He said that the children may have been «drugged,» pointing out their dilated pupils which, according to Ulyanov, would have been contracted had they been exposed to sarin, the chemical warfare agent allegedly used in the attack. «The question comes, who drugged those kids to heat up the discussion around chemical weapons,» he queried. Ulyanov also added that photographic evidence of a crater from the scene shows that the bomb was detonated from the ground. The alleged chemical weapons attack took place in Khan Sheikhoun near Idlib in April, in an area under the control of the Al-Nusra Front group. The incident allegedly claimed the lives of between 74 to 100 civilians. Washington held the Syrian government responsible, with Damascus denying having launched the attack. Three days later US President Donald Trump ordered Tomahawk missile strikes on the al-Shayrat Airbase in Syria, claiming that was where the chemical attack was launched from.
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