Syria Denies Role in Idlib Chemical Attack
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Syrian military categorically denied the accusations leveled against it about being involved in a suspected chemical attack in the country's northwestern Idlib Province that killed dozens of people.
"The army command categorically denies using any chemical or toxic substance in Khan Shaykhun today," the Syrian army said a statement carried by the official SANA news agency on Tuesday.
The Syrian military also stressed that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”
The Syrian military further blamed any use of chemical weapons on Syria's opposition and those who support them, noting that militants fabricate accusations of toxic gas attacks to divert attention from their failures on the ground.
Meanwhile, Syria’s Foreign Ministry issued a separate statement on Tuesday, strongly denying the use of poisonous gas in Khan Shaykhun or any other Syrian city or village by the country’s military and emphasizing that the Syrian Arab army did not possess any form of chemical weapons, Press TV reported.
The statement took to task Syria’s terrorist groups and their foreign supporters for circulating false news about Syrian army’s chemical attack on in Idlib Province, noting that such claims were fabricated after terrorists lost considerable ground to Syrian forces in the battlefield.
The statement said false accusations were leveled against Syrian army following “considerable achievements by the Syrian Arab army and the allied forces in the war against terrorism during the previous days and weeks,” and on the eve of the European Union meeting on the situation in Syria.
“The Syrian Arab Republic stresses that these fabricated allegations will not prevent it from continuing its war on terrorists as well as their supporters and sponsors in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and some of the EU countries,” the statement said.
The suspected chemical attack targeted the Idlib town of Khan Shaykhun earlier on Tuesday followed by alleged airstrikes, which hit a hospital where victims of the assault were being treated.
There have been conflicting reports on the number of fatalities. While, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the incident has left at least 58 people dead and over 60 others injured, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations says at least 100 people have been killed and 400 more suffered from respiratory problems.