Russia and France are split over who was behind the chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital Damascus last month. It comes after the UN issued a report into the massacre which Western states blame on the Syrian regime.
Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, set out an opposing view: “We have serious grounds to believe that it was a provocation, and several of our partners without irrefutable proof, have announced that only the regime (of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) could use such chemical weapons, but the truth has to be determined.”
But the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, insisted the report was convincing: “This report, as the U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki -moon said, is a very accusatory report. If we look at the amount of sarin which was used, the targets and the equipment that was needed, then we have no doubt that the Syrian regime was behind these attacks,” he said.
UN inspectors have confirmed the large use of the nerve agent sarin against civilians in a Damascus suburb last month. The United States believes more than 1,400 people were killed.
But their report did not specify who carried out the attack which the UN Secretary General described as a “war crime.”