Russia Faults ‘Political’ UN Report on Syria

Foreign Ministry Says Investigation Was 'Incomplete'

Russian Foreign Ministry officials today criticized the UN report on chemical weapons use in Syria, saying that they were disappointed in the report’s tentative nature and its politicized tone.

The report was released Monday, confirming sarin gas use at the site and offering some limited conjecture on the nature of the attack, but making no attempt to assign blame or provide a complete narrative of what happened.

The report, such as it was, ended up being seized upon by everybody as vindication of their respective narratives, and the lack of specificity within the report certainly left a lot of room for interpretation.

UN officials defended the report, and angrily condemned Russia for its comments, saying it had the “fullest confidence” in the report’s authors and that the report “speaks for itself.”

Which it does, but not very clearly. The report was very limited in its conclusions, and the data seemed to offer a lot of conflicting indications, with no real effort to reconcile those points.

The UN says the report is “indisputable,” but since it doesn’t draw any real conclusions that’s not a particularly meaningful statement. The Russian government has promised to present new evidence to the UN of possible rebel culpability in the attack.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.