Published: Mon, April 17, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Syria's Assad: Chemical attack was fabrication

Syria's Assad: Chemical attack was fabrication

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday that Britain believed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government was responsible for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria's Idlib province, despite his rejection of culpability.

The meeting was called to discuss the April 4 attack on the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun that killed almost 90 people. The United States, Turkey and other Western states have blamed the Assad regime for the deaths.

"No one has investigated what happened in Khan Sheikhoun.There's no concrete evidence".

It was the first direct USA military action against Assad's forces since the start of Syria's civil war six years ago and led to a quick downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.

But Assad doubled down on his denials in the interview with AFP, conducted on Wednesday and published on Thursday.

Chairperson of the OPCW executive council, Ambassador Odette Melono of Cameroon, in consultation with the Director-General of the OPCW Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu, convened a meeting of the council to discuss these allegations, Xinhua news agency reported. Only footage of first five questions asked by the interviewer was provided to AFP.

However, the Syrian Foreign Minister denied his government's involvement in the Idlib incident, while the Syrian army said it does not possess chemical weapons.

Assad denied having chemical weapons and said Syria would only allow an "impartial" investigation into the incident.

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The U.S. accuses the Syrian government of deliberately launching the deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. "They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack", Assad said, according to AFP.

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

The US-led coalition forces struck the position on Tuesday after another partner in the fight wrongly told them its was occupied by the Islamic State militants, the Pentagon said, underlining the complex nature of the conflict.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), controlling parts of it.

"Some of their statements were defending ISIS".

Lavrov said the probe, which Russian Federation has called for before, should be organized under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). "The Syrian claim is incorrect and likely intentional misinformation", Dorrian said in an email to Reuters.

Russian Federation claimed Syrian forces struck a building where terrorists kept the internationally banned chemical.

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