Published: Mon, April 17, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Syria's Assad says chemical attack '100 per cent fabrication'

Hours after the military operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for the USA air strike, calling the use of chemical weapons "unacceptable".

The suspected attack killed at least 87 people, including many children, and images of the dead and of suffering victims provoked global outrage.

Russia has submitted its proposal on involving extra inspectors in the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, in Syria's Idlib, at Thursday's meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier in the day.

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

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, on claims by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that "fake videos" and "propaganda" were being used against his government. "We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhoun, were they dead at all?" he said. "Were they dead at all".

US President Donald Trump ordered cruise missile strikes on an airbase in Syria last week, after his administration accused Russian Federation of trying to cover up Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's role in the chemical weapons attack.

"We will insist on the strict fulfillment by all without exception of those obligations set forth in the UN Security Council resolution, including full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic", Sputnik quoted Lavrov as saying in a joint press conference with Mohammad Javad Zarif and Walid Muallem, the Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers, in Moscow.

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"We gave up our arsenal three years ago", he said.

The Syrian government s suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians last week amounts to a "war crime", the US State Department said Thursday.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has said it is gathering evidence about the attack but can not comment on an ongoing investigation.

In his AFP interview, Assad accused the West, particularly the United States, of being "hand-in-glove with the terrorists" over the Khan Sheikhoun incident. But several experts have said that only the Syrian regime is likely to have stockpiles of Sarin gas.

The three ministers also discussed the beefing up of US forces on Jordan's border with Syria, Moallem said.

He also said his forces had not been diminished by the United States strike.

The draft text called on the Syrian government to provide flight plans, flight logs and other operational military information from the day of the strike.

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