Syria denies claims of chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) AMMAN, Sept 8 (KUNA) -- The Syrian government on Friday rejected as politicized and untrue the recent report of on use of the highly toxic sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun area in the northern Idlib Province.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry on Syria reported on September 6 that the Syrian Air Force used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017, killing over 80 people, most of whom were women and children.

In response to the report, the country's Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Hussam Ala sent a message to the UNHRC President saying, "Syria has never used and will never use toxic gases against its people because it does not possess them in the first place." "Syria considers the use of such gases a moral crime," according to the message carried by the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

"The Commission's report and the void politically-motivated accusations included in it are groundless.

"Since its inception, the Commission has been issuing reports and statements based on political accusations, not legal analysis," Ambassador Ala wrote. "Despite repeated warnings against the repercussions of such deviant behavior, the Commission continued in its negative behavior and in overstepping its jurisdiction as an investigative and monitoring committee by leveling accusation and engaging in politicization and selectiveness based on allegations from impartial sides, coming up with recommendations and interpretations that have no tangible basis whatsoever.

"The Commission's insistence on getting itself involved in the issue of chemical weapons and its use is a blatant departure from its mandate and the UNHRC mandate as it transgresses upon the jurisdiction of the Technical Inquiry Committees established by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the mandate of the Joint Investigation Mechanism, and the jurisdiction of the UN Security Council which established it.

"The report reveals the Commission's premeditated intentions, since it made preemptive accusations against the Syrian state regarding the alleged incident in Khan Sheikhoun mere hours after it occurred before any investigation was carried out," he went on to say.

The report and the provocative statements seek to give excuses to launch new attacks on Syria and cover up the US attack on Al-Shuairat airport after Trump's administration failed to provide any evidence to back up its allegations, he argued.

"While Syria reiterates that it never used any toxic chemicals at any time and that it does not possess any chemicals after having terminated its chemical program as attested by the OPCW, the Commission's deviation from its mandate -- shows that this Commission ignores professional criteria and is completely devoid of professionalism, credibility and neutrality.

"Syria demands that the UNHRC terminate the mission of such Commission that undermine it and its role, and to implement guidelines to prevent certain states from exploiting the UNHRC to serve its own political goals," he added.

In late June, The Hague-based OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), which is mandated to determine whether chemical weapons were used in Syria without identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks, confirmed that people were exposed to sarin in Khan Sheikhoun in early April. (end) tk.gb


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