Debate whether the Syrian government or the Syrian opposition used chemical weapons on civilians has been dealt a twist with a little-publicized revelation by Russian President Vladimir Putin his country has evidence chemical laboratories in Iraq produced weapons for the Sunni rebels.
Putin’s revelation came at the end of last week’s G8 Summit of industrialized nations and aligns with an earlier report out of the Middle East that former Baath regime officials of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who are Sunnis, are involved in the production and procurement of such weapons for those fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
“We know that opposition fighters were detained on Turkish territory with chemical weapons,” Putin said. “We have information out of Iraq that a laboratory was discovered there for the production of chemical weapons by the opposition. All this evidence needs to be studied most seriously.”
At the time of the press conference, Putin did not detail the sourcing of that evidence, the name or location of the laboratory. He is expected to hand off that data to the United Nations for further study.
The idea that Syria’s government used chemical weapons has been the foundation of a move by President Obama to decide to supply weapons to the Syrian opposition.
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