Russian Federation calls USA claims of Syria chemical attacks 'unacceptable'

25 January, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • A man is seen at a medical center in Douma Eastern Ghouta in Damascus on Monday. — Reuters

The new 29-nation group is meant to increase pressure on the Assad regime for the use of chemical weapons, but especially on Russian Federation for protecting the regime from repercussions at the UN Security Council and elsewhere.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the signing of the memorandum of understanding by 24 ministers, and said they will "make available to the worldwide community and the public all the information they have on those responsible" for the use of chemical weapons. Russian Federation is an ally of the Syrian government under President Bashar al-Assad.

In September 2014 the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says chlorine was used as a weapon "systematically and repeatedly" on villages in the central province of Hama and northwestern Idlib province.

Under the partnership, which does not replace existing global mechanisms, countries will share information on the subject and compile lists of people involved in the use of chemical weapons.

Just ahead of the event, reports emerged of a new chemical incident in Syria, in which it is alleged that over 20 civilians were injured in a possible chlorine gas attack in East Ghouta on Monday.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday said Russian Federation bore the responsibility of Syria's continued use of chemical weapons after aid workers earlier this week reported an attack in Eastern Ghouta, the last rebel bastion near Damascus.

A UN-backed independent investigation said the Syrian regime was responsible for the attack in Khan Sheikhoun, which left 87 people dead, including 30 children.

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"The current situation can not continue", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

"The United States' decision to form a 30,000-strong force is meant to help the Kurds establish their own autonomous regions in southern Turkey and western Iraq", the top commander said.

Nevertheless, Tillerson and others have made clear that defeating ISIS is the administration's primary goal in Syria, and the continued U.S. troop presence in the country was tied to that effort, and not to Assad's removal.

While the U.S. has long criticized the Assad regime for its brutal tactics, including the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, it has only taken limited action against his government.

"If these reports are true, this attack in Syria should weigh heavily on their conscience", Haley said.

In a report late previous year, JIM blamed the Syrian regime for a chemical attack in northern Syria's Khan Sheikhoun that killed at least 100 people. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 13 people had suffered suffocation in the incident.

"Quasi-collective approach, or, in fact, gathering up the states who can not go against Euro-grands and the USA is a direct violation of the prerogatives of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a blow to the United Nations platform", Ryabkov said.

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