Middle East ‘Transparent’ investigation into Idlib attacks needed: EU official

‘Transparent’ investigation into Idlib attacks needed: EU official
A victim of the Idlib chemical attacks is being helped by aid workers, Khan Shaykun, Idlib Province, Syria, April 4, 2017. (Photo: AFP/Mohamed al-Bakour)

MOSCOW, Russia (Kurdistan24) – The EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday called for a “full, transparent” examination into the chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Idlib Province.

The April 4 attack on the Khan Shaykun area killed at least 90 people and left several hundred injured.

Mogherini urged the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to launch an investigation into the matter.

“A full, transparent investigation has to be done by the OPCW,” the EU official said following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

She added the UN’s appropriate systems had to guarantee “full responsibility” for the process of the investigation.

Earlier in April, Lavrov stated Russia was utilizing its relationship with Damascus to encourage Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to “fully cooperate” with the OPCW.

Despite accusations from international powers, Assad insisted his regime had turned over all their chemical weapons “years ago.”

According to the Syrian president, a deal was reached in 2003 in coordination with Russia, its key ally, to prevent the threat of US military action.

The Idlib attack prompted US President Donald Trump to order a missile strike on the Syrian air base which reportedly launched the weapons.

In the aftermath of the chemical bombing, Russia and the US disagreed over who to hold responsible for the deadly raid.

Russia blamed rebel fighters for the fatal incident, claiming a routine Syrian regime strike hit a rebel arms depot containing “toxic substances.”

“It’s necessary to demand the rebels offer full access to study the area and collect necessary information,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Meanwhile, President Trump branded the Assad regime as perpetrators of the crime, calling the assault “reprehensible.”

 

Editing by G. H. Renaud

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