The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 7th April 2017

More fake news from NATO

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

NATO has stepped up its hate campaign with a new anti-Syrian resolution at the United Nations (UN) this week, following an alleged poison gas attack in rebel-held territory across the Turkish border that the imperialists claim was carried out by the Syrian air-force. But Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the proposed resolution was “unacceptable” and based on “totally fake information”.

The Syrians and Russians both maintain that the chemical weapons were released into the atmosphere when a rebel arms dump in which they were illegally stashed was bombed by Syrian jets on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump said that the incident was “reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilised world”, and condemned what he called “these heinous actions” of the “Bashar al Assad regime”.

His words were echoed by his minions in Europe, including British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson who said that “all the evidence points to the Assad regime” whilst his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel condemned the “barbarism” of using chemical weapons and said Russia should do everything it can to clarify what had happened as soon as possible. Britain, France and the United States have tabled a draft resolution to the UN Security Council condemning the alleged chemical attack in Syria and demanding a full investigation. But this is seen as little more than a propaganda stunt because Russia and People’s China are expected to veto this provocation as they did in February to block a similar move from the imperialist camp to impose sanctions against Syria.

In late February, Russia and China used their veto powers to block a UN Security Council draft resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over the government’s alleged use of banned chemical weapons. The draft resolution, as usual sponsored by France, Britain and the United States, proposed imposing sanctions against 10 entities and 11 Syrians considered responsible for allegedly using chemical weapons in Syria in 2014 and 2015.

A Syrian airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhun on Tuesday targeted workshops used to produce chemical-laden projectiles, a spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry said Wednesday.

“According to Russian airspace monitoring systems, yesterday between 11.30 and 12.30 local time the Syrian aviation carried out an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, targeting a major ammunition storage facility of terrorists and a cluster of military hardware. The territory of this storage facility housed workshops to produce projectiles stuffed with toxic agents,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.

“From this major arsenal, chemical-laden weapons were delivered by militants to Iraq. Their use by terrorists was confirmed on numerous occasions by international organisations and official authorities of the country,” he said.

The spokesman added that these projectiles were similar to those used by rebel militiamen in Aleppo, where their use was recorded by Russian military specialists.

“Video footage from social networks shows that those affected in Khan Sheikhun demonstrate the same symptoms of poisoning as the victims of the Aleppo attack had last autumn,” he added.

The officer said that Russia has handed over all information about the incident to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which “still studies them”.

“We assure them that this information is completely unbiased and true,” he added.

In Damascus the Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said that over the past few weeks the Syrian government has provided the OPCW and the UN with documented reports on the transport and storing of toxic substances into Syria by the terrorist organisations. Mikdad stressed that the Syrian Arab Army doesn’t possess chemical weapons and that it has never used such weapons, even in the fiercest battles with the terrorist groups — clarifying that Syria has implemented all of its obligations towards the OPCW and that the organisation has admitted this.