Global inquiry aims to report on Syria sarin attack by October

Mark Garten

Edmond Mulet Head of the Security Council Joint Investigative Mechanism on Chemical Weapon Use in Syria

An worldwide inquiry aims to report by October on who was to blame for a deadly sarin gas attack in Syria in April, the head of the probe said on Thursday, as he appealed for countries to back off and stop telling investigators how to do their work.

An global investigation into a pair of chemical weapons attacks in Syria is coming under heavy political pressure, according to the lead investigator.

Mulet said "interested parties", which he did not name, were attempting to influence the panel.

"We do receive, unfortunately, direct and indirect messages all the time from many sides telling us how to do our work and some of those messages are very clear in saying that if we don't according to them, to these different visions, then they will not accept the conclusions of our work", Mulet stated.

During his meeting with United Nations members, Mulet said he called on them to "please let us do our work" and pledged that the investigators would be impartial, objective and independent.

"The messages are coming from everywhere", Mulet added, suggesting that Western powers were also in frequent contact with the panel.

In previous reports, the JIM already determined that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015, and that the Islamic State (IS) group used mustard gas in 2015.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons'(OPCW) mission has confirmed the use of the nerve agent sarin in the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

Syrian President Bashar Assad denies using chemical weapons.

On April 21, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Sputnik that there was no chemical weapon attack in Idlib, adding that the reports were a false flag and a fabrication which was supposed to justify a U.S. missile strike on the Syrian airbase.

Efforts by Western powers to impose United Nations sanctions on Syria in February were blocked by Russian Federation and China.

Under the terms of an agreement reached with the USA and Russian Federation in 2013 Assad was supposed to dismantle his chemical weapons stockpile.

Mulet said the JIM will present its findings to the council in mid-October focusing on the Khan Sheikhun attack and another incident involving mustard gas in September past year in Um Hosh, in Aleppo province.

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