Syria's Assad says Idlib chemical attack a 'fabrication'

The United States and its allies say the Syrian military carried out a chemical attack that killed 87 people and wounded over 550 others, something Syria has already denied.

By REUTERS
April 13, 2017 19:40
1 minute read.

Aftermath of suspected chemical gas attack in Idlib , Syria on April 4, 2017 (REUTERS)

Aftermath of suspected chemical gas attack in Idlib , Syria on April 4, 2017 (REUTERS)

 
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Syrian President Bashar Assad said an alleged poison gas attack blamed on his government last week in Idlib province was "100 percent fabrication," news agency AFP reported on Thursday.

Assad also said Syria's military had given up all chemical weapons, AFP said on its Twitter account, quoting remarks in an interview with the Syrian president.

The United States and its allies say the Syrian military carried out the attack, something Syria has already denied.

Following the event, the US military struck a Syrian air base in response to a sarin gas attack on civilians last week. The chemical assault, which Western powers have said was conducted over several hours by Syrian Air Force planes sent by Assad, killed at least 87 people and wounded more than 550.

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


"Israel fully and unequivocally supports the presidents decision and hopes the clear message will reverberate not only in Damascus but also in Tehran, Pyongyang and other places."

The Assad regime agreed to dismantle the country’s chemical weapons stockpiles in a 2013 deal brokered by the United States and Russia following the deadly regime attack on East Ghouta near the capital of Damascus where over 1,400 people were killed, including 426 children.

While the regime did comply with destroying many of the stockpiles as well as the infrastructure to produce them, removing over 1,290 metric tons of chemical weapons – including sarin, VX and sulfur mustard, a precursor to mustard gas – according to former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israel is under the impression that the regime cheated international inspectors and kept residual amounts of sarin.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, has said that America is prepared to take further action if necessary. "When the international community consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action,” Haley remarked at a Security Council meeting last week. “The indiscriminate use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is one of those times.”

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