Syria ready to cooperate with U.N.
watchdog on gas attack accusations
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[September 09, 2016]
AMMAN (Reuters) - Syria said on
Thursday it was ready to cooperate with the global chemical weapons
watchdog over accusations it had used poison gas against insurgent held
A Syrian foreign ministry statement said Damascus was ready to cooperate
with a team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW) currently in Syria and looking into incidents Damascus blames on
"terror groups and their foreign operatives".
A joint investigation by the United Nations and the chemical weapons
watchdog last month found Syrian government troops were responsible for
two toxic gas attacks and that Islamic State militants had used sulfur
mustard gas, according to a report seen by Reuters.
The year-long U.N. and OPCW inquiry - unanimously authorized by the U.N.
Security Council - focused on nine attacks in seven areas of Syria.
The results set the stage for a Security Council showdown between the
five veto-wielding powers, likely pitting Russia and China against the
United States, Britain and France over whether sanctions should be
imposed after the inquiry.
Diplomatic sources say there have been discussions between Washington
and other powers in the Security Council on a resolution that would
impose sanctions, moves that have long been opposed by Moscow, a staunch
ally of President Bashar al Assad's government.
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A still image taken on September 7, 2016 from a video posted on
social media said to be shot in Aleppo's Al Sukari on September 6,
2016, shows a civil defense member making his way through debris,
after a suspected chlorine gas attack, Syria. Social Media via
Syrian defense workers operating in rebel-held areas said Syrian
helicopters dropped bombs with chlorine on the Sukri neighborhood of
Aleppo on Tuesday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that one
person had died as a result of the attack that caused dozens of
cases of suffocation. The Syrian army denied the accusations.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; editing by Ralph Boulton)
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