Assad calls chemical attack '100 percent' fabrication

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov

Syrian president Bashar Assad insisted that his military was not responsible for the incident and claimed the attack was a "fabrication" to justify the United States missile strike.

She told the BBC during a visit to Sandhurst: "Russia is on the wrong side of this argument but we are willing to work with Russia to bring an end to the conflict in Syria, to bring about a political solution in Syria, but that political solution has to be without Assad".

Assad's government has been blamed for a suspected sarin gas attack in Idlib province last week in which killed nearly 90 people.

Assad also claimed that the alleged chemical attacks in Khan Sheikhoun were all a "fabrication" to give the USA military justification for a strike.

He added that "morally" the Syrian government would never do this "because it's not acceptable".

It was the deadliest such incident since a sarin gas attack killed hundreds of people in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus in 2013, prompting threats of U.S. military action.

Asked if he had ordered the chemical weapons attack, Assad said the Syrian military had no chemical weapons and that it would not use them if it did.

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews). United Nations U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley address the Security Council after a vote on a resolution condemning Syria's use of chemical weapons failed, Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. "They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack", Assad said in his first comments since the US missile strikes in response to the chemical attack.

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Its findings, expected in three to four weeks, will be passed to a joint UN-OPCW investigation tasked with identifying individuals or institutions responsible for using chemical weapons. He expressed strong skepticism about a preliminary investigation conducted by the United Nations chemical weapons watchdog, saying that its experts have failed to visit the site and it has remained unclear to Russian Federation where the samples have been taken and how they have been analyzed.

General Sakat said he doesn't believe Assad will give up any remaining chemical weapons.

He claimed the USA and the West were "hand-in-glove with the terrorists". "These have tested positive for the nerve agent Sarin, or a Sarin-like substance", the delegation said during a special session at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

Images of the aftermath, showing victims convulsing and foaming at the mouth, sent shockwaves around the world.

The statement says "the two leaders agreed that the attack in question be investigated by the OPCW, which is an independent organization whose legitimacy is recognized".

That conclusion was supported by rights group Amnesty International, which said victims were "very likely" to have been exposed to a compound such as Sarin.

Following the handover of Syria's chemical weapons, the OPCW reportedly submitted further concerns to the UN Security Council but after intervention from Russian Federation in September 2015 the issue was allegedly dropped.