The US State Department dismissed claims made by Bashar Al-Assad who on Wednesday said that the chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun was a Western and American fabrication. The State Department reiterated that Assad was responsible for the attack which it described as a “war crime.”
“Sadly, it’s vintage Assad,” US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday. “It is an attempt by him to throw up false flags, create confusion. Frankly it’s a tactic we’ve seen on Russia’s apart as well in the past,” he added.
“There can be little doubt that the recent attacks and the chemical weapons attack in Idlib was by the Syrian Government, by the Syrian regime, and that it wasn’t only a violation of the laws of war but it was, we believe, a war crime,” Toner said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that Assad’s comments that last week’s chemical weapons attack was a fabrication to justify a US military strike were “100 percent lies.”
“It’s 100 percent lies and propaganda,” Ayrault said during a visit to Beijing, responding to an exclusive AFP interview with Assad on Wednesday. “It’s 100 percent cruelty and cynicism.”
Meanwhile, Ahmet Uzumcu, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that “OPCW Fact-Finding Mission has focused its work to investigate the incident in Khan Sheikhun and that it has collected samples, which have been sent to OPCW Designated Laboratories for analysis.”
“OPCW experts are currently analyzing all information gathered from various sources,” Uzumcu added from The Hague, Netherlands. He added that the Fact Finding Mission in Syria could complete its work within the next two to three weeks. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)