Bashar al-Assad Says Will Only Allow 'Impartial' Chemical Attack Probe
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Apr 14, 2017,
Apr 14, 2017, 14:47
But Mr Assad said it was "not clear whether it happened or not, because how can you verify a video?"
A man breathes through an oxygen mask as another one receives treatments, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.
Russian Federation and Syria claim the Khan Shaykhun victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian warplanes. Sufferers were taken to hospitals across the border in Turkey.
Assad, who has been the president of Syria since 2000, told the AFP in a video interview that there was no order to make any attack.
Asked if airstrikes by Syrian troops could have struck a terrorist chemical weapons depot, Assad declined to speculate, saying it was often hard to know the details about targets from aerial pictures.
Britain's Ambassador, Sir Geoffrey Adams, told the meeting that United Kingdom scientists have analyzed samples from Khan Shaykhun and they "tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, or a sarin-like substance".
"Our firepower, our ability to attack the terrorists hasn't been affected by this strike". "You have a lot of fake videos now".
He said Khan Sheikhun had no strategic value and was not a battle front. "This story is not convincing by any means", he told AFP.
President Assad's flat denial that his country has used chemical weapons and that last week's incident was a fabrication concocted by al-Qaeda and Washington does not square with the "case for the prosecution".
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"If we truly want to help protect the people of Syria, we must also be willing to offer the Syrians assistance as they flee attacks in search of safety".
The UK result confirmed earlier testing by Turkish authorities that concluded sarin had been used for the first time on a large scale in Syria's civil war since 2013. The airbase, which is said to be where the attack was launched, was hit by missiles just a few days after the alleged attack.
There are too the many videos that were released immediately after the attack showing the victims.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that OPCW inspectors should visit both the Syrian air base, which the US said served as a platform for the attack, and Khan Sheikhoun to get a full and objective picture. But Turkey, who treated numerous people injured by the attack, says it has evidence that sarin was used in the town.
Prime Minister Theresa May says she believes it is "highly likely" Mr Assad's forces were behind the deaths, adding that "it is only the regime that has the capability to make such an attack".
He added that "morally" the Syrian government would never do this "because it's not acceptable".
He said Russian Federation vetoed a draft United Nations resolution Wednesday because it failed to mention the need to inspect the area of the attack.
The coalition said Thursday one its air strikes had accidentally killed 18 members of the Syrian alliance south of Tabqa, a strategically important town on the Euphrates River near Raqa. Mr. Assad has said that the government gave up its chemical arsenal four years ago.