Moscow possesses information that the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in the Middle East have been using chemical warfare agents increasingly more frequently in Syria and Iraq, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.
"Based on numerous indications, the organization ISIS banned in Russia and some other radical Islamic groups in the Middle East have indeed gained access to components and technologies enabling them to produce chemical warfare agents at least at an amateurish level, and they have started using them in Syria and Iraq increasingly more often," Zakharova said at a news briefing in Moscow on Nov. 12.
"Some time ago, they were said to be using household and industrial chlorine as a chemical warfare agent, but now there is reliable and confirmed information indicating that they are employing real chemical warfare agents, such as sulfur mustard. The matter concerns its use while fighting against government forces, for terror and for committing terrorist attacks aimed against the local population and for provocative purposes, including with the purpose of discrediting the Syrian government in the international community's eyes," she said.
Zakharova mentioned a report circulated recently by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons regarding the use of such weapons in Syria.
This report "confirms the fact of the use of sulfur mustard in populated areas near Aleppo in August this year. Although there are no direct indications to ISIL in this report, it can be claimed with a high degree of certainty that the district that was controlled at that moment by Syrian opposition units was shelled with munitions armed with this chemical warfare agent precisely from positions held by ISIS," she said.
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