McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

September 5, 2013

Russian report blames Syrian rebels for earlier chemical weapons attack

McALESTER — Russia says it has compiled a 100-page report detailing what it says is evidence that Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, were behind a deadly sarin gas attack in an Aleppo suburb earlier this year.

In a statement posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website late Wednesday, Russia said the report had been delivered to the United Nations in July and includes detailed scientific analysis of samples that Russian technicians collected at the site of the alleged March 19 attack, Khan al Asal.

The Russian statement warned the United States and its allies not to conduct a military strike against Syria until the United Nations had completed a similarly detailed scientific study into the Aug. 21 attack. It warned that what it called the current “hysteria” about a possible military strike in the West was similar to the false claims and poor intelligence that preceded the United States invasion of Iraq.

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