Syrian opposition may try to use chemical weapons again - Lavrov
Moscow fears that the Syrian opposition will again attempt to use chemical weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
"We have serious suspicions that these attempts [of use of war chemicals by the Syrian opposition] will continue," he said in an interview with Kommersant daily published on Monday.
Commenting on U.S. claims that Washington has plenty of evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government Lavrov said: "They did not produce it to us. Meanwhile, we produced the evidence we have [ received through our own channels, from Syrians and from independent sources] that prompts the conclusion that it is handiwork of the opposition."
"At the meeting with the UN Secretary General and with the five permanent members of the Security Council and at the Security Council session itself we stressed that the countries acting as sponsors of the opposition in the political, financial and military respects bear responsibility for it not trying to lay hands on some stocks of chemical weapons, to receive it from somewhere abroad or stage provocations within Syria to shift the blame on the government, arouse general anger and thus try to provoke an outside strike at Syria."
"It seems to me we are on the right track," Lavrov said.
He pointed out that in compliance with the new UN Security Council resolution "any abuses permitted by any side - the government or opposition groups - must be reported to the UN Security Council after a thorough investigation." "This also applies to the use of chemical weapons by, God forbid, anyone," he said.
"If we are absolutely confident that any of the sides permitted an abuse or used chemical weapons, we will be ready to make a decision in compliance with Chapter 7 [of the UN Charter]," he said. "This is inscribed in our commitments. But I must stress that we will not buy a pig in a poke like when we are now told about the August 21 incident they say it is clear to everyone that it was the handiwork of the government," Lavrov said.