Independent experts should Investigate Idlib chemical incident - Egyptian lawmaker
Thursday 20/April/2017 - 07:31 PM
An international investigation commission should end the disputes around the Khan Shaykhun chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib province and establish who was responsible، the Egyptian parliament's Arab Affairs Committee chair، Saad Gammal، told Russian Sputnik on Thursday.
"This calls for the creation of an independent international investigative commission، composed of experts، to find out who deployed poison gas and harshly punish those responsible،" Gammal said via a video conference on Syrian settlement organized by Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency.”
The mutual accusations being made by Damascus and Syrian opposition are undermining efforts to find the truth، he stressed.
On Wednesday، the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said its fact-checking team had found traces of sarin or a sarin-like substance in the Khan Shaykhun victims' bodies but the investigation continued.
The West has accused the Syrian government of carrying out the chemical weapons attack in Idlib province on April 4. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem denied the government’s involvement in the Idlib incident، saying it had never used chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country and will never do so. On April 6، despite Russia's call for a thorough investigation into the incident، the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the military airfield in Ash Sha’irat، located in the vicinity of the Homs city. US President Donald Trump said the strike was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use.
Damascus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons after a major sarin gas attack in Syria's East Ghouta in 2013، agreeing to destroy its stockpile under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversight. In January 2016، the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.