Russia To Present Evidence Rebels Used Chemical Weapons in Syria

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 18 2013 6:27 PM

Russia To Present Evidence Rebels Used Chemical Weapons in Syria

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(L-R) US Secretary of State John Kerry, United Nations-Arab League special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a press conference on Syria's chemical weapons at the UN headquarters in Geneva, on September 13, 2013.

Photo by LARRY DOWNING/AFP/Getty Images

Following Monday’s U.N. report on the findings of chemical weapons inspectors in Syria, the question no longer appears to be if chemical weapons were used in Syria last month, but who used them?

The U.S. and other western allies have a quick answer: the Syrian government. But, on Wednesday, the BBC reports, Russian Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov plans to present evidence to the Security Council “implicating Syrian rebels in a chemical attack" on August 21st. Russia Today, however, goes one step further reporting that, according to Lavrov, “Russia will provide the UN Security Council with data proving that the chemical weapons near Damascus were used by the opposition.”

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Lavrov told RT that Russia received the new data fingering the rebels from Syrian authorities via Russia’s deputy foreign minister, who is currently in Damascus.

Last weekend, Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reached an agreement on Syria turning over its chemical stockpile for international inspection. The U.S., U.K. and France are pushing to have the chemical disarmament deal codified in a U.N. resolution backed by the threat of military intervention. Russia has continually objected to any resolution sanctioning military strikes in Syria.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.