Russia has welcomed an agreement reached between the United Nations and Syria on dispatching inspectors to investigate allegations of use of chemical weapons, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman says.
“Moscow welcomes the principal agreements reached to start the work of the group of international inspectors in Syria that, although late, open the way for a thorough and unbiased investigation of the situation around the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Friday. Under an agreement reached with the Syrian government on Thursday, a UN team of inspector will visit three sites in the country, where chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred, over two weeks. The visit may be extended by mutual consent. The first site on the UN list is the town of Khan al-Assal, located near the northern city of Aleppo. The Syrian government reported a chemical attack carried out by foreign-backed militants on March 19 that killed 26 people. The other two sites are Ataybah near the capital, where a suspected attack took place in March and Homs, where chemical weapons were reportedly used in December last year. The Syrian government and foreign-backed militants fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad accuse each other of using chemical weapons. A Russian-led inquiry recently revealed that militants carried out a chemical attack in Khan al-Assal in March. The United States and its allies, such as the UK and France, have accused Damascus of using chemical weapons. Syria has categorically denied the allegations, saying that Takfiris have used chemical weapons on several occasions, including an attack in the region of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo Province on March 19, where over two dozen people died. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million others displaced since the outbreak of the violence.