"They (Russia) can believe what they want, or say what they want, the facts prove otherwise, they are overwhelming, the facts, we presented the facts that the inspection team presented," White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said on Tuesday. (Agencies)
Carney was responding to a question on the Russian statement that even after the UN report it is still possible that the Syrian rebels might have had used chemical weapons against its own people on August 21.
"What matters when it comes to the process going forward is not statements like that, what matters is what the Russians do to ensure that Syria upholds its commitments, and that Russia upholds its commitment to see this agreement through, which calls for an aggressive time table in accounting for and securing Assad's chemical weapons inventory," Carney said.
At the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, a senior US official made a similar accusation against the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov. "He's swimming against the tide of international public opinion, but more importantly, the facts," the State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
The UN report, she said, confirms unequivocally that chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, were used in Syria. "But based on our preliminary review of information contained in the report, several crucial details confirm the Assad regime's guilt in carrying out this attack," she said.
"United States has associated one of the munitions identified in the UN report, 122-millimetre improvised rockets, with previous Assad regime attacks over the course of the current conflict in Syria. We have no indications that the opposition has manufactured or used this style of rocket," Psaki said.
"Equally significant, the environmental, chemical, and medical samples that the UN investigators collected provide clear and compelling evidence that the surface-to-surface rockets used in the attack contained the nerve agent sarin. We know the regime possesses sarin. We have no evidence, however, that the opposition possesses sarin," she said.
"We will continue to press this argument publicly and privately that the regime is behind it. And those discussions will be ongoing, and I'm certain they will be a part of what the P-5 talks about today as well," she added.
"They (Russia) can believe what they want, or say what they want, the facts prove otherwise, they are overwhelming, the facts, we presented the facts that the inspection team presented," White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said on Tuesday.