TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “We believe that the report turned out to be superficial, unprofessional and amateurish,” the head of the Security and Disarmament Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov, said on Thursday, adding, “The mission did their research from a distance, which in itself is a scandal.”
At least 87 people died in the April 4 purported gas attack on Khan Shaykhun, which Western countries blamed on the Syrian government.
Using the incident as a pretext, US warships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea at the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s central province of Homs on April 7. US officials claimed that the suspected Khan Shaykhun attack had been launched from the military site.
Syria’s official news agency, SANA, reported that at least nine people had been killed in the early morning strike on the Syrian airfield.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said in an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the chemical incident was “a false-flag play just to justify the attack on the Shayrat base.”
He also accused the West of preventing any impartial investigation into the suspected chemical attack.
A joint panel by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN lately concluded that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical incident, alleging that the Syrian Air Force had dropped a bomb on Khan Shaykhun.
Russia and Syria, in return, said that an explosive device had been set off on the ground.
Ulyanov suggested on Thursday that sarin gas was poured inside the crater left in the ground by the bomb explosion.
“If it were an aerial bomb, the bomb's tail would be in the crater, but there are no traces of an aerial bomb. The verdict against Damascus that has been issued so confidently turned out to be baseless,” the Russian official pointed out.