Russia backs chemical probe

| Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, 7:03 p.m.

Russia on Friday added its diplomatic weight to demands for a swift probe into an alleged chemical weapons attack.

Russia, which is a close ally of Damascus and its most powerful protector on the international stage, has suggested the opposition staged the attack to discredit the regime. But on Friday, Moscow called on both sides of the conflict to facilitate an investigation.

“Russia immediately contacted the Syrian government asking them to cooperate with U.N. experts,” the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said in a statement. “It is now a matter for the opposition, which should guarantee safe access of the mission to the supposed location of the incident.” — AP

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