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01:04 PM, April 25, 2018
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Airstrike-hit Syrian Facilities had no Chemical Weapons
People stand infront of damaged buildings in Douma, Syria on April 16, 2018 (Image: Voice of America)

Samples taken from a Syrian pharmaceuticals plant and other facilities hit by US and allied airstrikes show no trace of chemical weapons, the Russian Defence Ministry has said.

Right after the airstrikes which destroyed buildings and other infrastructure, employees and onlookers flocking to the site suffered no symptoms of chemical weapons poisoning, Ministry spokesperson said.

The Russian specialists took samples from the Barzeh scientific research center. "Their analysis found no presence of toxic chemicals and poisonous substances at the destroyed facility what is confirmed by a respective act," chief of the Russian General Staff’s main operations directorate, Colonel-General Sergei was quoted as saying by Tass Wednesday.

According to Rudskoy, judging by official statements of representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom and France the major goal of the missile strike was to destroy Syria’s alleged potential of manufacturing toxins and storages of special munitions. This potential was allegedly concentrated in three Syrian facilities, according to the US, the UK and French leadership, Tass reported Wednesday.

"The US, British and French military and political authorities employed unclear logic while choosing targets for their attack. If they really believed that chemical weapons stockpiles actually existed, then their air strikes would have led to a large-scale contamination and as far as Damascus goes, tens of thousands of people would have been killed," he added.

He added that none of the three facilities hit by the US-led strikes had stored chemical weapons.

Syrian facilities targeted by the strikes of the United States and its allies were not used for storing chemical weapons and the samples taken from there confirm this, chief of the Russian General Staff’s main operations directorate, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy said.

"On arrival at Site 1, a large crowd gathered and the advice provided by the UNDSS was that the reconnaissance team should withdraw. At Site 2, the team came under small arms fire and an explosive was detonated. The reconnaissance team returned to Damascus," OPCW said in a statement last week.

The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited one of the sites in Douma on 21 April 2018, to collect samples for analysis in connection with allegations of chemical weapons use on 7 April 2018.

OPCW has collected samples that will be transported to the OPCW laboratory in Rijswijk and then dispatched for analysis to the OPCW’s designated labs. Based on the analysis of the sample results as well other information and materials collected by the team, the FFM will compile their report for submission to the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention for their consideration, OPCW said in a report last Saturday.

The analysis report of the sample results as well other information and materials collected by the OPCW team has not been updated on the OPCW website during the time of this report.

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