Syrian officials repeatedly warned the UN Security Council that terrorists from Turkey and Iraq were bringing chemical weapons into Syria.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Thursday that al-Nusra Front were likely behind the recent attack that killed 80 civilians.
“al-Nusra Front, ISIL and other organizations continued to store chemical weapons in urban and residential areas. And we have sent more than a hundred telegrams to the Security Council and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, telling them or sending them information about chemical weapons being brought to Syria from Iraq and from Turkey,” Muallem told reporters.
On Tuesday, the Syrian National Coalition of Revolution and Opposition Forces reported that some 80 people were killed and 200 injured earlier on that day in a chemical weapon attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, blaming the Syrian army for the incident. A source in the Syrian army later told Sputnik that the army did not have chemical weapons and the allegations could be part of anti-Damascus propaganda.
The Syrian government forces have never used and will never use chemical weapons against not only civilians, but terrorists as well, the country’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Thursday.
“I stress to you once again that our army has never used chemical weapons and will not use chemical weapons… not only against our civilians… but also against the terrorists who are attacking our civilians through their mortar shells,” Muallem said.
Following a 2013 chemical weapon attack in Syria’s East Ghouta, Syria joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. This was the result of an agreement between Russia and the United States on the destruction of chemical weapons in the Arab country under the control of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which also prevented the US military intervention in Syria. In January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.
However, in June 2016, the US State Department released a report saying Syria continued to use chemical substances against citizens and suggesting the country could also stockpile chemical weapons. UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo said that the UN and OPCW experts still could not confirm the complete destruction of chemical weapon production facilities in Syria.