Russian Foreign Ministry: Staged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun has clear political goals

“A discouraging situation is emerging. Almost two months after the chemical incident, nobody seems to really bother to visit Khan Shaykhun in order to find out all the circumstances of such a high-profile case,” the Foreign Ministry says in its commentary. The authors emphasize that the Western side also refuses to visit the Shayrat airbase “where, according to their statements, the sarin gas used in Khan Shaykhun was supposedly stored,” the statement says.

According to the Foreign Ministry officials, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is not eager to clarify the Idlib incident, “Unfortunately, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) is not active in pursuing this issue; it has repeatedly postponed its visit to Khan Shaykhun referring to an unfavorable security situation”, the Foreign Ministry officials wonder.

However, the ambassadors of the US, the UK, and France attempted to make the discussion in the UN Security Council take “an expressly anti-al-Assad and anti-Russian sound”.

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Largest Islamist attack on Deir ez-Zor in 2017 repelled

For several years, the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor has been under severe siege by ISIL militants (organization banned in Russia). The city is controlled by the Syrian Army. Humanitarian and food supply for the part of the city, blocked by militants, is delivered by air. Despite the strengthened positions of the Syrian Army and the constant losses among the militants, the terrorists regularly try to capture the besieged city. On May 5, the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria under the guarantees of Russia, Iran, and Turkey was announced. This helped the Syrian military commanders to free up significant resources of manpower and equipment from the areas where the ceasefire is maintained. This redeployment of resources allowed the commencement of an offensive operation against militants to the south-west of Palmyra in order to secure the flanks and to take more convenient frontier lines. The success of this offensive operation will determine the timing of possible actions to remove the blockade of the besieged city.

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