Russia carried out 'thinly veiled political attack' in Syria: Britain
AMSTERDAM - Reuters
Britain accused Russia on Nov. 9 of carrying out a "thinly veiled political attack" against the Turkish head of the world's chemical weapons watchdog, escalating a row over the body's investigation into toxic attacks in Syria
The comments, made during a session at the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),
were the latest sign of deep political division at the body over the Syrian conflict.
In an Oct. 26 report the U.N.-OPCW investigation team blamed the Syrian government for an April 4 attack using the banned
nerve agent sarin in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, killing around 80 people. The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons and Moscow rejected the findings.
Its mandate expires on Nov. 17, but its work is incomplete.
"It is a thinly veiled political attack on the professional integrity of the director general," the British delegation said in a statement, referring to the OPCW's outgoing Turkish head, Ahmet Uzumcu. "It seeks to undermine the capability and
competence of the (OPCW)."
Syria joined the OPCW after a sarin attack on Aug. 21, 2013, killed hundreds of people in Ghouta, a district on the outskirts
of Damascus. It has said it declared and destroyed all its chemical stockpile, but chemical attacks continue in the country's civil war.