Officials Claim Poison Gas Attack in Syria “100% Fabrication”
Thursday, the US-led coalition against IS denied a Syrian army report it had carried out an air strike that had hit poison gas supplies belonging to ISIS and caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
A statement by the Syrian army, circulated by state media, said the alleged incident late Wednesday in the eastern Deir al-Zor province proved that Islamic State and al Qaeda-linked militants “possess chemical weapons”.
Syria and its ally Russia have asserted that insurgents fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad have stocks of banned poison gas, seeking to place the blame on the rebels for a chemical weapons attack that killed scores of people in northwest Syria on 4 April.
Washington and its allies say there is no doubt that the Syrian military carried out that attack, which prompted US President Donald Trump to order cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base last week.
Responding to Thursday’s Syrian army claim, Colonel John Dorrian (USAF), a spokesman for the coalition, said it had carried out no air strikes in the area of Deir al-Zor then.
The Russian defense ministry said it had no information about people killed in an attack by international coalition forces in Deir al-Zor, according to RIA news agency.
A ministry spokesman said Russian forces had sent drones to check the area.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told news agency AFP in an interview published Thursday that the alleged 4 April poison gas attack in Idlib province was a “100% fabrication”.
The retaliatory US strike on the Syrian air base was the 1st time Washington has deliberately and directly targeted the Syrian government.
The United States is separately waging an air campaign against Islamic State in eastern Syria.
Stay tuned…this story is unfolding.
Have a terrific Easter Weekend.
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