Category: Bashar al-Assad
UN doesn’t send experts to Idlib ‘chemical incident’ site as West & US are blocking it – Assad

https://www.rt.com/news/385469-un-idlib-chemical-assad/

UN doesn’t send experts to Idlib 'chemical incident' site as West & US are blocking it - Assad
The Syrian government has asked the UN to send experts to investigate the alleged chemical attack in Idlib province, but the request remains unanswered due to pressure from US and other Western countries, Syrian president Bashar Assad told Sputnik in an exclusive interview.

“We formally sent a letter to the United Nations, we asked them in that letter to send a delegation in order to investigate what happened in Khan Shaykhun,” Assad said. “Of course till this moment they didn’t send (the experts), because the West and the US blocked any delegation from coming,” he added.

Bashar Assad believes that Washington is hampering the probe because if the experts arrive in Idlib, “they will find that all their (the US) narratives about what happened in Khan Shaykhun and then the attack on Shayrat airport was a false flag, was a lie.”

“Now the only contact I think is between Russia and maybe the other countries in order to send that delegation. Till this moment, we didn’t have any positive news regarding any delegation coming,” he added.

On April 4, an alleged chemical attack killed dozens of people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib province.

Without any investigation carried out, the US labeled Assad’s government as perpetrators and fired a barrage of Tomahawk missiles at Shayrat airbase, which it said was the source of the attack.

Russia has called for a thorough investigation of the chemical incident, which would include an on-site inspection in the rebel-held territory, before coming to any conclusions.

“Actually, since the first attack a few years ago that happened in Aleppo by the terrorists against our army, we asked the United Nations to send investigation delegation in order to prove what we said about the terrorists having gases used against our army, and later many incidents happened in that way, and they didn’t send any delegation. It’s the same now,” Assad told Sputnik.

BREAD MORE: British chair to both OPCW probes on Syria ‘chemical attack’ is against int’l principle – Lavrov

Earlier this week, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that it is identifying sarin in samples related to the April 5 incident.

However, the watchdog never explained how it obtained the samples, as its experts have not visited Khan Shaykhun yet.

The Russian military questioned the swift analysis of the samples, saying the OPCW did not act with such speed in another incident in which a militant group reportedly used mustard gas in Aleppo.

“Russian specialists on the site of the crime [in Aleppo] collected samples of the agent, which had been delivered to representatives of the OPCW and transported to the Hague. By the way, the Syrian leadership at the time offered safety guarantees and insisted that OPCW experts visit Aleppo, but nobody came,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

“Four months later the OPCW still cannot come to a conclusion and call the mustard gas found there mustard gas, saying additional analysis is necessary,” he added.

Assad reiterated the Syrian stance that no chemical attack ever took place in Idlib.

He acknowledged that the Syrian government carried out airstrikes against Syrian Al-Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front terrorists, in Khan Shaykhun on April 4, but stressed that no chemical weapons were used.

The president pointed out that all the information about the Idlib incident the world currently has originates from the White Helmets group, which he called “humanitarian Al Qaeda,” that has a rich history of making fakes.

“Their story said that the attack happened at 6:00, 6:30 in the morning. We didn’t launch any attack at that time,” he said, adding that the Syrian planes bombed Khan Shaykhun at around noon.

“We believe it was a false flag for one reason and a simple reason: if there was gas leakage or attack, and you’re talking about 60 dead in that city, how could the city continue its life normally? They didn’t evacuate the city. No-one left the city, life continued as normal,” which would be impossible if weapons of mass destruction were used, Assad said.

According to the Syrian President, the US strike on Shayrat proved that their own claims of the airbase being the source of the chemicals were wrong.

“They attacked Shayrat where they said there was the gas depots, and they attacked all the depots, and there was no gas coming out of that airport. No-one of our army officers or military staff, was affected by any gas,” he said.

READ MORE: Idlib ‘chemical attack’ was false flag to set Assad up, more may come – Putin

“So, for us, there was no gas attack and no gas depot, it was a false flag play just to justify the attack on the Shayrat base.

Assad: Idlib attack 100% fabricated, Syria destroyed all chemical weapons

https://www.rt.com/news/384628-assad-says-chemical-attack-fabricated/

The chemical incident in Idlib province blamed on Damascus was a “100 percent fabrication” as the Syrian military has already dismantled chemical weapons stockpiles, President Bashar Assad told AFP.

“Definitely, 100 percent for us, it’s fabrication… Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists,” President Assad told the French news agency in his first interview since the retaliatory US missile strike on a Syrian airbase in Shayrat.

“They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack,” he said.

According to Assad, the Syrian military dismantled all of its chemical weapons arsenal in 2013.

“There was no order to make any attack… We gave up our arsenal a few years ago. Even if we have them, we wouldn’t use them,” he added.

The Syrian leader said it was “not clear” if the alleged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib province, even took place.

“You have a lot of fake videos now. We don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Shaykhun. Were they dead at all?” he said.

Assad said the US Tomahawk strike on the Shayrat airbase was anything but efficient as it had little impact on the country’s military capabilities.

“Our firepower, our ability to attack the terrorists hasn’t been affected by this strike,” he said.

Assad urged the international community to launch an inquiry into the alleged Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, but added Damascus would only allow an “impartial” external investigation.

“We can only allow any investigation when it’s impartial, when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won’t use it for politicized purposes,” he said.

The Syrian leader also lashed out at the Trump administration, saying peace talks that would ensure a lasting truce in Syria have stalled because the US has no interest in ending the war.

“The US is not serious in achieving any political solution. They want to use it as an umbrella for the terrorists,” he said.

On Wednesday, Russia vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution which called for a speedy investigation into the Idlib incident.

Vladimir Safronkov, Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN, called the draft “unfounded,” and urged instead for an independent fact-finding mission to be dispatched to rebel-held Khan Shaykhun.

READ MORE: Russia vetoes West’s ‘misconceived’ Syria resolution at UN Security Council

Reports of dozens being killed in an alleged chemical attack emerged on April 4. Despite no investigation being carried out, the US and its Western allies put the blame for the incident on the Assad government.

Damascus denied its involvement, with Russia saying that the chemicals could have been released due to a conventional strike hitting a militant arms depot which contained “toxic substances.”

However, US President Donald Trump ordered a retaliatory airstrike on Friday, with 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at the Shayrat airbase in Homs province.

The attack killed 14 people, including nine civilians, and destroyed a material storage depot, a training facility, a canteen, six MiG-23 aircraft in repair hangars and a radar station.

READ MORE: US Tomahawk strike on Syria as effective as dropping missiles from air balloons – Russia’s MoD

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the American strike was “low efficiency,” and that only 23 missiles reached the targeted base.