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Syria Gov’t Denies Rebel Gas Attack Claims

Civil defense members inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, on April 5.Civil defense members inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, on April 5.

Damascus denounced a report by the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog on the April chemical incident in Idlib as one-sided, lacking evidence and aimed at encouraging terrorists as they lose ground. It also denied reports of deploying chlorine against rebels.

The fact-finding mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), tasked with investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, rejected the Syrian government’s assistance in unearthing the facts at the site of the incident and instead relied on highly questionable testimonies provided by rebels and terrorists, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, Russia Today reported.

An ensuing report by the OPCW therefore “comes up with a fabricated and contrived narrative that has no credibility and cannot be accepted in any manner, because it is removed from logic and is concocted by a twisted imagination that only thinks about weaving conspiracies”, the foreign ministry argued in a statement, cited by Syria’s state SANA news agency.

According to the ministry, the findings were rooted in the claims provided by “terrorists”, who were taken to Turkey from Khan Sheikhoun and bribed to testify.

At the same time, the ministry noted that the mission turned down the proposal by Damascus to fly them on a private plane to Shayrat airbase, considered by the West as a place from which the attack originated. The allegations that the airfield was used to launch a chemical attack were repeatedly refuted by Damascus, which insists it does not possess any chemical weapons.

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