Negotiation Committee: We will discuss Syrian government use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in Astana talks
Turkey - SMART
The Syrian High Negotiations Committee of the Riyadh II conference confirmed on Sunday that it will discuss the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons in the city of Aleppo, Northern Syria, in the next session of the Astana talks on Wednesday. The committee said that the Syrian government regularly fabricates crises when there are talks about a diplomatic solution in Syria.
The committee spokesman Yahiya al-Aridi told SMART that the opposition factions participating in the Astana talks will present the issue of the Syrian government targeting the neighborhoods of Aleppo with chemical weapons.
Al-Aridi said that the chlorine gas missiles that fell on the city were launched from the Iranian militia-controlled al-Hadir area in Southern Aleppo.
Al-Aridi also said that the aim of using chemical weapons is "to disturb the political process, confuse the inevitability of and disavow a diplomatic solution."
Al-Aridi added that the Syrian government tends to stage crises in the days leading up to international conferences about a diplomatic solution in Syria to channel the world's attention into other issues, like fighting terrorism.
Al-Aridi said that the Russian, Iranian, and Syrian government's accusations against the Civil Defense of being behind the chemical attack in Aleppo lacks evidence and aims to damage the reputation of the Civil Defense, which has information about the parties that target civilians.
Al-Aridi said that Russia and the Syrian government claim to have known about the alleged attack weeks earlier, adding, "If so, why wait until the attack happened and not target the party that is about to launch it?" Al-Aridi said that the High Negotiations Committee accuses the Syrian government and all its allies of using toxic substances.
On Sunday, the president of the High Negotiations Committee Naser al-Hariri said that the committee has evidence that the Syrian government forces shelled the city of Aleppo with toxic chlorine gas missiles.
Earlier, the National Liberation Front of the Free Syrian Army said that the Syrian government accuses the opposition factions of using chemical weapons to cover up its own crimes, the last of which was killing and injuring 13 civilians in the town of Jarjanaz in the Idlib governorate on Saturday.