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Syria: Syrian airstrike in Idlib targeted chemical arms lab, says Russia

5th Apr 2017
Syria: Syrian airstrike in Idlib targeted chemical arms lab, says Russia

Russian news agency, Tass,  quoting the Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman said a Syrian airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, in Idlib, Syria, on Tuesday targeted workshops to produce chemical-laden projectiles. 100 people were killed in a chemical attack in the area.

“According to Russian airspace monitoring systems, yesterday between 11.30 and 12.30 local time the Syrian aviation carried out an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, targeting a major ammunition storage facility of terrorists and a cluster of military hardware. The territory of this storage facility housed workshops to produce projectiles stuffed with toxic agents,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

The U.S., the U.K. and France on Tuesday prepared a draft UN resolution urging the Syrian Government to cooperate with a fact-finding mission.

The draft “condemns in the strongest terms” Tuesday’s attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun, expressing “outrage that individuals continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons” in the war-torn country.

It calls on Bashar al-Assad’s Government to “cooperate fully” with a fact-finding mission by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The resolution notably asks Syria to provide the mission with wide-ranging military information, including flight plans and logs, information on helicopter squadrons, and access to relevant military bases.

The UN Security Council will convene Wednesday morning to discuss the attack. It has not been announced whether the emergency meeting would include a vote on the draft resolution.

Earlier on Tuesday, Syrian rebel Health Spokesman Firas Jundi told a press conference in Idlib that raids carried out by suspected Syrian warplanes “left over 100 people dead and 500 civilians, mostly children, injured”.

Jundi alleged the aircraft struck Khan Shaykhun with missiles containing “poisonous gas”, adding that the death toll was feared to rise.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement Tuesday he was “deeply disturbed” by the reports of a chemical attack.

His spokesman Stephane Dujarric earlier called the reports “extremely alarming and disturbing” and declared the OPCW fact-finding mission.

Condmeing the alleged chemical attack, UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “I’m appalled by the reports that there’s been a chemical weapons attack on a town south of Idlib allegedly by the Syrian regime.

“We condemn the use of chemical weapons in all circumstances.”

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Rex said of Assad: “Those who defend and support him, including Russia and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack in a message posted on Twitter by her spokesman Steffen Seibert. “Such war crimes should be punished,” she said.

Report by AA with additional news by The Muslim News

[Photo: Injured Syrians are being brought to Reyhanli State Hospital in Hatay, Turkey on April 4, 2017 following alleged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun town of Idlib district of Syria. Photographer:  Muhabiri Erdal Türkoğlu/AA]

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