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Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2013

Russia released Key Findings of Chemical Weapons Probe

Christof Lehmann ( nsnbc ) , – The Russian Foreign Ministry has released the key findings of the Russian experts probe into the chemical weapons use incident in Khan al-Assal on 19 March 2013. The probe, which was taken following international standards, using internationally recognized laboratories proves that the weapon was not a standard issue weapon as one would expect in a military arsenal, and strongly suggests that foreign-backed insurgents were behind the attack. The release of the core findings of the report, which has been sent to the office of the UN Secretary General and the White House, comes as a Senate Committee approves US military strikes against Syria.

Khan al-Assal 27 July 2013. Al-Qaeda tied terrorists tried to cover-up their tracks by mutilating many of the bodies and attempts to incinerated them before dumping them into mass graves.

Khan al-Assal 27 July 2013. Al-Qaeda tied terrorists tried to cover-up their tracks by mutilating many of the bodies and attempts to incinerated them before dumping them into mass graves.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has published key findings of the probe of a Russian expert team, into the use of chemical weapons in the Khan al-Assal district of Aleppo on 19 March 2013 on the ministry´s official website.

The Foreign Ministry releases the key findings as a massive media campaign, predominantly in Western and Gulf Arab mainstream media gives the impression that a concerted attempt is made to declare the Syrian government guilty of the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on 21 August 2013 before the findings of the UN inspectors have been properly analyzed and discussed at the Security Council.

The statement, released by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, is particularly drawing attention to what it calls:

“The massive stove-piping of various information aimed at placing the responsibility for the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria on Damascus, even though the results of the UN investigation have not yet been revealed…. By such means, the way is being paved for military action against Damascus”.

The importance of using the words “alleged chemical weapons attack” by Russian diplomats, independent media as well as experts is by no means inappropriate or incorrect. It underpins the importance of an independent experts investigation into any alleged use of chemical weapons.

The release of not chemical weapons grade, but non-the less toxic or even lethal chemicals can easily create the impression that an actual chemical weapon has been used. There is a general consensus among chemical weapons experts, that only an independent and full investigation, following international standards, maintaining principles such as an unbroken chain of evidence can determine precisely what has happened, and eventually indicate who the perpetrators were.

The Key Findings of the Russian Experts Probe into the Incident in Khan al-Assal indicate that the projectile that was carrying the deadly, internationally outlawed nerve agent Sarin, was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by rebels, the Foreign Ministry states.  The key findings of the full report, which Russia has sent to theoffice of UN Secretary General Ban Kyi-moon and the White House, are as follows:

  • The shell used in the incident “does not belong to the standard ammunition of the Syrian army and was crudely according to type and parameters of the rocket-propelled unguided missiles manufactured in the North of Syria by the so-called Bashair al-Nasr brigade”.
  • RDX, which is also known as hexogen or cyclonite, was used as the bursting charge for the shell, and it is “not used in standard chemical munitions”;
  • Soil and shell samples contain “the non-industrially synthesized agent Sarin and diisopylfluorophosphate“, which was “used by Western states for producing chemical weapons during World War II”.

The Foreign Ministry stresses, that the findings are “extremely specific” as they mostly consist of technical data from probes and analysis, and that this information can “substantially aid” the UN investigation of the incident.

The Foreign Ministry stressed, that the attack in Khan al-Assal has cost the lives of at least 26 civilians and that of soldiers of the Syrian army, while 86 people were injured in the incident. The ministry criticized what it called certain states, for their flawed and selective approach in reporting recent incidents of alleged chemical weapons use in August.

The Ministry stresses, that the hype around the alleged attack on the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta showed “apparent attempts to cast a veil over the incidents of gas poisoning of Syrian army soldiers on August 22, 24 and 25,”  and stressed, that the respective evidence for all of these incidents has been handed in to the United Nations by Syria. 

On Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Kyi-moon said, that the UN investigators are set to return to Syria to investigate several other cases of alleged chemical weapons use, including the March 19 incident in Khan al-Assal.

Five months after the the chemical weapons attack in Khan al-Assal, a new massacre was committed there, killing at least 123 civilians, most of them women, children and elderly. The massacre was committed by the so-called Ansar al-Khalifa Brigade. The insurgents have partially tried to cover-up the evidence by mutilating many of the bodies of the victims before dumping them into mass graves. Further attempts to cover-up the evidence were made by attempting to incinerate many of the bodies.

The new massacre followed a continuous Western silence and omissions about the fact that intelligence reports had warned about a renewed military campaign by the foreign-backed opposition, in which the opposition would use large scale chemical weapons use at pretext for calls for a no-fly-zone, humanitarian corridors and a foreign military intervention. Moreover, it was suggested that the terrorists attempted to murder eventual eyewitnesses to their chemical weapons use.

The release of the key findings of the Russian probe into the chemical weapons use in Khan al-Assal comes, as a US Senate Committee has given the green light to launch military strikes against Syria. The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted on Wednesday and approved U.S. President Obama´s plan to launch military strikes against Syria, allegedly in retalliation for the reported use of chemical weapons by “the Assad Regime”.

The Committee votes 10 to 7 in favor of using military force. A vote of the full house is expected on 9 September, but President Obama has repeatedly stated, that he might give the order to strike, also without congressional approval.

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at

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  1. Write, call, pray, fast…
    The anguish from Americans online exceeds anything I’ve ever read…Americans are torn up about the vision of Syrian mothers and children, poor people, animals being slaughtered by “our” monsters.
    The stocks have gone up for the companies that make the missiles. Is is possible to be more ashamed of ourselves?

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