3 Nov 2017 18:55

Sarin used in Syria's Khan Sheikhun could be homemade - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Nov 2 (Interfax) - Moscow does not rule out that the sarin gas used in Syria's Khan Sheikhun could be homemade, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry nonproliferation and arms control department, said on Thursday.

"Where does sarin come from nowadays? The Ministry of Industry and Trade official said that in theory, the possibility of an artisanal production should not be ruled out," Ulyanov told reporters.

There are some other versions of the nerve agent's origin, he went on. In particular, there is a chance that DF, sarin's precursor for binary shells, which was supposed to be destroyed by a U.S. vessel, was not eventually destroyed completely, Ulyanov said.

"Was all of that destroyed by that ship or was there something left over? [...] Maybe, a certain amount was collected as a marker, as a specimen?" Ulyanov suggested.

Ulyanov went on to recall an incident that had occurred in a neighboring country a few years ago. Police then seized a group of militants fighting in Syria and a portion of sarin they were carrying with them. The investigation into that incident was never finalized, he said. "Where is that sarin now? What happened to it? I don't know," Ulyanov said.