Syria has given Russia new material evidence that it says proves Syrian rebels used chemical weapons in an attack on August 21, a Russian minister has said.
In an interview with Russian media, Sergei Ryabkov said the Assad government had given him new evidence that rebel forces had used chemical weapons, according to the BBC.
Ryabkov did not give any details of what those weapons were.
“Just now we were given evidence. We need to analyze it,” he told RT news organization.
Ryabkov also criticized the U.N. report, saying it was “distorted, it was one-sided, the basis of information upon which it is built is not sufficient, and in any case, we would need to learn and know more on what happened beyond and above that incident of 21 August.”
“We are disappointed, to put it mildly, about the approach taken by the U.N. secretariat and the U.N. inspectors, who prepared the report selectively and incompletely,” he told the RIA news agency.
The U.N. inspectors were originally mandated to go to Syria to investigate three alleged chemical weapons attacks – at Khan al-Assal, Sheikh Maqsoud and Saraqeb, the BBC reported.
UN report confirms chemical weapons use in Syria
According to NBC News: “A United Nations report released Monday confirmed that rockets loaded with sarin gas were used in an August 21 attack in Syria, although inspectors stopped short of saying who was responsible for the attack.
“Chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale,” inspectors concluded in a 38-page report, which included analysis of chemical, environmental and medical samples.
Those samples provided clear and convincing evidence that rockets containing sarin were deployed in the area, the U.N. report said.
“The inspectors spoke to more than 50 witnesses of the attack in a Damascus suburb, including survivors and first responders.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters after the release of the report that the results of the investigation are “overwhelming and indisputable,” and he called the use of chemical weapons “a war crime.”