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Syrian envoy to UN says Western states fabricate lies on Syria’s cooperation with OPCW

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh (file photo)

Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh has affirmed Damascus’ condemnation of the use of chemical weapons, anywhere, anytime by anyone and under any circumstances, saying Western states fabricate lies on his country's cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

During a session of the UN Security Council, Sabbagh said Western countries lie to pave the way for passing resolutions against the Arab country and to establish illegitimate mechanisms to flagrantly politicize the work of the global chemical watchdog, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.

He once again stressed that Syria has never used any type of the banned weapons or any toxic chemicals despite the fact that its army forces and their allied fighters faced huge challenges due to appalling crimes committed by foreign-backed terrorist groups and their supporters.  

Sabbagh reminded that Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 2013 and cooperated with the UN and the OPCW to dispose of its chemical weapons stockpile and production facilities, saying this was achieved in mid-2014 and was confirmed in several reports by the global chemical watchdog.

Damascus has consistently denied using chemical weapons.

The Syrian envoy said that despite fulfillment of its obligations under the CWC and full cooperation with the OPCW, Syria has been targeted by outright lies fabricated by Western countries, which have also launched misleading campaigns against Damascus to pass punitive resolutions and devised illegitimate mechanisms, including the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), to politicize the technical work of the OPCW in a bid to distract the watchdog from its goals.

Lies and misleading campaigns by these Western countries, Sabbagh said, have turned the reports of the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat and teams to a significant component of the hostile campaigns against the Arab country.

He stressed that such practices have negatively affected the work of the global chemical watchdog, and the credibility and reliability of its reports, as well as the professionalism of its staff.

The Syrian envoy said that in December, an investigation team from the OPCW inspected the facilities of Barzeh and Jamraya near Damascus, a month after the team paid a visit to the western province of Hama with the aim of resuming investigations into the attacks that allegedly took place in the province back in 2017.

The OPCW claims that Syrian military planes and a helicopter had dropped sarin and chlorine bombs on the town of Lataminah in Hama in March that year. Damascus denies the allegation, saying foreign-backed militants carried out the attack to frame the government.

Sabbagh said he wondered why the investigations were not completed after five years since the militants had used the chemical weapons there.

On April 14, 2018, the US, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack on the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of Damascus.

Washington and its allies blamed the Syrian government for the Douma attack, an allegation rejected by Damascus.

Western governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack has taken place.

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