DAMASCUS, Syria – Syrian chemical weapons specialists have recovered 20-tonne containers of toxic substances from areas previously controlled by militants, said Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Damascus on Saturday.
“There were containers weighing more than 20 tonnes at the storehouses of terrorists near Az-Zahiriyah and Al-Khafsah in the province of Hama. They contained 50 units of ammunition stuffed with chemicals,” Mekdad said.
“In Tal Adleh, 24 tonnes of poisonous chemicals, presumably chlorine, were found. All the information on the above substances that we sent to the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] and the RMC was not studied, but was put on hold, since they [the OPCW and SMR] wanted to establish in any case that it was the ATS that used this chemical weapon,” he explained.
“In the warehouse in Muadhamiya north and east, 30 km from Damascus, 240 mm and 160 mm ammunition and plastic containers with organic phosphorus were found. But these data, as you know, has caused absolutely no interest in those organisations that declare their desire to cleanse the world of chemical weapons,” he continued.
“Instead, they study reports of terrorists who talk about the use of poisonous substances in very different areas by the government of Syria. In the vicinity of Suwayda in the suburbs of Hama, a large enterprise was identified for the production of various poisonous substances, as well as 45 chemical munitions and 44 barrels of chemicals that can be used to manufacture poisonous substances,” he said.
“Question: Did you know, did you hear about this? We have stated this many times, but nobody cares. But to the information spread by terrorists and those who support them, attention is attracted to the media, the OPCW and the Security Council,” he stressed.
The international community has traditionally been quick to blame the Syrian government for chemical weapon attacks without providing evidence but has always been hesitant to investigate reports made by Damascus.