Syria's Assad: Idlib chemical attack 'fabrication'

Last week, the global community was stirred after news surfaced about the deadly chemical attack in a rebel-held area in northern Syria.

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Western allies have said there is compelling evidence that the Syrian government was behind what happened in Khan Sheikhoun.

Mr Assad was speaking in his first interview since the assault in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April, in which more than 80 people were killed.

The war has drawn in a wide of range of global powers, from Russian Federation and Iran in support of the regime, to Western nations, Turkey and Arab Gulf states in support of various rebel forces.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims an alleged poison gas attack blamed on his government last week was "100 percent fabrication" used to justify a USA air strike.

Witnesses said they saw warplanes attack the town but Russian Federation says a rebel depot of chemical munitions was hit.

In the interview, Assad insisted it was "not clear" whether an attack on Khan Sheikhun had even happened.

'Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists'.

"Definitely, 100 per cent for us, it's fabrication", said Mr Assad of the incident.

Ahmet Uzumcu, the OPCW's director general, told members of the 41-state executive council that a fact-finding mission had already collected samples after the attack, which were sent to OPCW designated laboratories for analysis.

Assad said no proper investigation had been possible because the area was controlled by Nusra Front.

In 2013, Syria was blamed for a chemical attack that hit the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta, in which activists say 1,400 people died. "We don't have an arsenal, we're not going to use it".

The stockpile was destroyed in an operation overseen by the Nobel Peace Prize winning-group OPCW, but ever since there have been questions about whether Assad had declared all his weapons.

There are too the many videos that were released immediately after the attack showing the victims.

"We don't have any chemical weapons".

He added that "this outrage is abetted by Russia's continuing efforts to bury the truth and protect the Syrian regime" from consequences of using chemical weapons.

Following last week's deadly attack, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said technical experts analysed the available information "and their preliminary assessment (was) that this was a credible allegation".

The Kremlin in a statement confirmed that Putin and Erdogan had spoken "in favor of conducting an objective and full worldwide investigation as soon as possible".

Turkey and the United Kingdom say tests show Sarin or a Sarin-like substance was used in Khan Sheikhoun, which would be the first time since 2013 that a prohibited chemical had been used on such a scale.

Earlier this week, Turkish doctors also said that test results conducted on victims confirmed that sarin gas was used. The organization has not revealed any details, citing the need to preserve the integrity of the probe and the safety of OPCW staff.

"The innocent families who were killed in Idlib are no different than the people who are attempting to seek refuge in the US", said Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America's senior humanitarian policy adviser, when asked for comment by CP.

  • Leroy Wright