Russia Urges UN to Probe Syria Chemical Weapons Reports

MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia hopes the United Nations will respond to Syria’s request to look into allegations of the use of chemical weapons during fighting bewteen rebels and government forces, a senior Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.

“We expect that the UN secretary general will promptly react to Syria’s request to investigate the use of chemical weapons on March 19,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on his Twitter.

“It is important to form a neutral and professional team of experts who can present unbiased conclusions,” twetted Gatilov, Russia’s point man on the Middle East.

On Tuesday, the Syrian government and opposition rebels traded accusations of the use of chemical weapons in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

Syrian state media reports said that at least 25 people died and 110 more were seriously injured.

Rebel forces have denied using chemical weapons.

Syria’s envoy to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, said on Wednesday that he had asked the UN chief, Ban Ki Moon, to approve an investigation into the reports.

US President Barack Obama said earlier this week that any use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces would be a “game changer” in the two-year civil war.


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