Syria accuses US of rejecting expert mission to chemical attack site – Deputy Minister

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad

The United States turned down Syria’s proposal to send an international watchdog’s fact-finding team to the site of a suspected chemical attack last spring, Syrian First Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said at a press conference Monday.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) said on Friday its fact-finding mission had established the use of sarin in the 4 April incident in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province.

“The OPCW was not present in Khan Sheikhoun, and Washington rejected our proposals to send a team of experts to Khan Sheikhoun,” Mekdad said.

The deputy minister expressed Damascus’ dissatisfaction with the way the chemical watchdog conducted its probe.

“The OPCW conducted an investigation on Khan Sheikhoun in Turkey, a state hostile to Syria,” Mekdad told reporters. “The ‘witnesses’ were sent into Turkey from Khan Sheikhoun by terrorists.”